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Stewart Coles

Profile picture for Stewart Coles

Contact Information

702 S. Wright Street
M/C 456
Urbana, IL 61801
Assistant Professor


Stewart M. Coles is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research examines how people develop their understanding of social issues related to identity. More specifically, he studies the way media depictions of social issues and marginalized groups evoke prejudice and stereotypes, shape and activate identity, and influence public opinion and political behavior. He is especially interested in the political effects of entertainment media and how audience attributes affect whether people consider entertainment media to be politically relevant.

Previously, Coles served for 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a public affairs officer, and he has a background in public relations, advertising, and multimedia design.

Research Interests

Political Communication

Social and Digital Media

Entertainment Media and Politics

Media Psychology

Public Opinion

Intergroup Conflict


Ph.D., University of Michigan, Department of Communication and Media, 2020

M.A., San Diego State University, School of Journalism & Media Studies, 2012

B.S., Drexel University, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, 2005