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Wesley Shumar, professor of Communication at Drexel University

Wesley Shumar, PhD

Graduate Faculty Member, Communication, Culture &
Department of Communication
Office: 3201 Arch Street, 372
Phone: 215.895.2060
Fax: 215.895.1333

Additional Sites:


  • PhD, Temple University
  • MA, New York University
  • BA, University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests:

  • The Commodification of Culture
  • Consumer Culture and the Production of Value
  • Entrepreneurship and Craft Culture
  • Cultural Change in Higher Education
  • Digital Media and Learning
  • Learning and Communication


Wesley Shumar’s research is focused on the commodification of culture, the cultural production of value, the transformation of space, time, and communicative interaction through digital technologies, and the social and interactive processes of learning. His work on higher education focuses on the cultural and spatial transformation of American universities within an increasingly consumerist economy. His work on learning focuses on the ways the internet and digital technologies can enhance learning interactions. He is currently exploring the craft economy and the production of value. He is writing a book on the craft beer community to be published by Routledge. He is Co-PI on the EnCoMPASS Project, a 4-year National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project. The project promotes an authentic teacher professional development community through an NSF developed software tool and a unique curriculum design. He is author of College for Sale: A Critique of the Commodification of Higher Education, Falmer Press, 1997 and Inside Analysis of an Online Mathematics Education Community, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. He is co-editor of Structure and Agency in the Neoliberal University, Routledge/Falmer, 2008 and Building Virtual Communities: Learning and Change in Cyberspace, published by Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Selected Publications:


  • Shumar, W. (2017). Inside Analysis of an Online Mathematics Education Community. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Canaan, J. & Shumar, W. (Eds.) (2008). Structure and Agency in the Neoliberal University. New York: Routledge.
  • Renninger, K. A. & Shumar, W. (Eds.) (2002). Building Virtual Communities. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Shumar, W. (1997). College for Sale: A Critique of the Commodification of Higher Education. London: Falmer Press.

Book Chapters

  • Sebastian, M. & Shumar, W. (2018). The Digital Age and the Social Imaginary, in the Remembering and Forgetting in the Digital Age.  Springer Verlag for inclusion in their "Law, Governance and Technology Series".
  • Shumar, W. & Robinson, S. (2018) Universities as societal value drivers; Entrepreneurial practices for a better future, chapter for The Thinking University, edited by Søren S. E. Bengtsen and Ronald Barnett,  published by Springer.
  • Shumar, W., & Robinson, S. (2018). Rethinking the Entrepreneurial University for the 21st Century. In R. Barnett, & M. A. Peters (Eds.), The Idea of the University: Volume 2 – Contemporary Perspectives. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
  • Shumar, W. (2018) Caught between commodification and audit: Contradictions in American higher education in Urciuoli, B. (Ed.) The Experience of Neoliberal Education. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Publishers.
  • Shumar, W. (2016). Internationalization as a Contradictory Sign in the Global Era.  In John Mock (Ed.) The Impact of Internationalization on Japanese Higher Education. Sense Publishers.
  • Shumar, W. & Mir, S. (2011) Cultural Anthropology Looks at Higher Education. In the Blackwell Companion to the Anthropology of Education, Blackwell Publishers.
  • Porpora, D. & Shumar, W. (2010) Self Talk and Self Reflection: A View from the U.S., in Margaret S. Archer (Ed.) Conversations about Reflexivity. London, New York: Routledge.
  • Charles, E. S. & Shumar, W. (2009) Student and Team Agency in VMT in Stahl, Gerry (Ed.) Studying Virtual Math Teams, Series: Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Series, Vol. 11, New York: Springer.
  • Shumar, W. (2009). Interaction, Imagination and Community Building at the Math Forum. In D. Akoumianakis (Ed.), Virtual Community Practices and Social Interactive Media. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Inc.
  • Shumar, W. (2009). Communities, Texts, Consciousness: The Practice of Participation at Math Forum. In Joni Falk and Brian Drayton (Eds.) Creating and Sustaining Online Professional Learning Communities. New York: Teacher College Press.
  • Shumar, W. (2008). Space, Place and the American University. In Canaan, J. & Shumar, W. (Eds.) Structure and Agency in the Neoliberal University. New York: Routledge, pp. 67-83.

Journal Articles and Proceedings

  • Shumar, W. (2016). TED: The University Intellectual as Globalized Neoliberal Consumer Self, in Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences.
  • Shumar, W. & Wright, S. (2016). Introduction Special Issue: Social Media and New Visions of Education. Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences.
  • Robinson, S. & Shumar, W. (2014). Ethnographic Evaluation of Entrepreneurship Education in Higher Education; a methodological conceptualization International Journal of Management Education. Volume 12, Issue 3, November 2014, Pages 422–432.
  • Shumar, W. (2014). Wither the Welfare State: The New Global Adventures of Higher Education.Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Science. Volume 7, Number 1, Spring 2014, pp. 92-104.
  • Shumar, W. & Madison, N. (2013) Ethnography in a Virtual World. Ethnography and Education. Vol. 8 (2): 255-272.
  • Shumar, W. (2010). Key Contributors: Homi Bhabha. Cultural Studies of Science Education, Vol. 5(2): 495-506.
  • Sarmiento, J. & Shumar, W. (2009). Boundaries and roles: Social location and bridging work in the Virtual Math Teams (VMT) online community. Special issue of Computers in Human Behavior, October, 2009.