Skip to main content

Anna Wiederhold Wolfe

Faculty member Anna Wiederhold Wolfe
Associate Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • Communication & Media Science
  • Humanities & Critical/Cultural Studies
  • Organizational Communication
  • BLTN 309A
Professional Links


Twitter IconResearch Gate IconTAMU Scholar-iconGuided by critical and feminist sensibilities, Dr. Wolfe’s research examines processes of constituting and contesting collective and stigmatized identities, with particular interest in how organizational and community structures enable and constrain engagement and coordinated social action with different others.


Dr. Wolfe’s research is centrally concerned with understanding how we can connect with others across our differences. In pursuit of this goal, she has investigated how individuals use language to form collective identities with and against others, how leaders use narratives to mobilize those collectivities for action, and how processes of dialogue and deliberation can build bridges between oppositional stakeholders to facilitate the achievement of deeper shared understandings and more democratic public decisions. Her work has been published in journals such as Journal of Communication, Management Communication Quarterly, and Journal of Applied Communication Research. Her co-authored book, Sex and Stigma: Stories of Everyday Life in Nevada’s Legal Brothels received five major disciplinary book awards. She is also a member of the planning team for the Aspen Conference, a community of engaged organizational communication scholars focused on developing practical theory and collaborative research that bridge academic-practitioner interests. Consistent with the commitments of engaged organizational communication research, much of Dr. Wolfe’s current work is conducted in collaboration with community partners, especially local governments, to use communication theory in the service of addressing everyday problems of living in a pluralistic society.

Courses Taught

  • COMM 689: Special Topics: Engaged Communication Research
  • COMM 637: Narrative and Collective Organizing
  • COMM 636: Survey of Organizational Communication
  • COMM 460: Communication & Contemporary Issues
  • COMM 447: Communication, Group Processes and Collaboration
  • COMM 443: Communication and Conflict
  • COMM 320: Organizational Communication
  • COMM 210: Group Communication and Discussion

Representative Publications


Wolfe Sex and Stigma Book Cover

Blithe, S. J., Wolfe, A. W., & *Mohr, B. (2019). Sex and stigma: Stories of everyday life in Nevada’s legal brothels. New York, NY: NYU Press.

– 2020 Outstanding Monograph Book Award, Organizational
  Communication Division, NCA
– 2019 Book of the Year Award, Critical Cultural Studies Division, NCA
– 2019 Sue DeWine Distinguished Book Award, Applied Division, NCA
– 2019 Outstanding Book Award, OSCLG
– 2019 Sara A. Whaley Book Prize Honorable Mention, National Women’s
Studies Association

The state of Nevada is the only jurisdiction in the United States where prostitution is legal. Wrapped in moral judgments about sexual conduct and shrouded in titillating intrigue, stories about Nevada’s legal brothels regularly steal headlines. The stigma and secrecy pervading sex work contribute to experiences of oppression and unfair labor practices for many legal prostitutes in Nevada.  Sex and Stigma engages with stories of women living and working in these “hidden” organizations to interrogate issues related to labor rights, secrecy, privacy, and discrimination in the current legal brothel system.

Including interviews with current and former legal sex workers, brothel owners, madams, local police, and others, Sex and Stigma examines how widespread beliefs about the immorality of selling sexual services have influenced the history and laws of legal brothel prostitution. With unique access to a difficult-to-reach population, the authors privilege the voices of brothel workers throughout the book as they reflect on their struggles to engage in their communities, conduct business, maintain personal relationships, and transition out of the industry. Further, the authors examine how these brothels operate like other kinds of legal entities, and how individuals contend with balancing work and non-work commitments, navigate work place cultures, and handle managerial relationships. Sex and Stigma serves as a resource on the policies guiding legal prostitution in Nevada and provides an intimate look at the lived experiences of women performing sex work.