Call for Presentations – Celebrity: Exploring Critical Issues 2013

Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in Critic's Area | 0 comments

Dear Celebrity Culture Readers:

Writing from a sacred cottage near Kawartha Lakes, Ontario where I am taking pleasure in a research / writing  retreat.  I received the cottage as a gift from my beautiful friend Lynn Manwar during this Thanksgiving and we are spending a memorable week together.  It reminds me of my recent writing retreat in Barcelona where the home was gifted as well and offers reassurance of precious moments coming our way.  The week has been filled with inspiration to prepare new courses and lectures for celebrity studies in 2013.  I am grateful for every moment spent and looking forward to sharing more experiences of my reading and writing here.

At the moment, I am forwarding a Call for Presentation below.  I will share further reflections on sights and learnings gathered at the cottage.  Till then, keep shining on your path and connect with your love.

With affection from the lakes, Samita Nandy

Call for Presentations

2nd Global Conference


Sunday 10th March – Tuesday 12th March 2013 Lisbon, Portugal


‘To be known for your personality actually proves you a celebrity. Thus a synonym for “celebrity” is “personality”‘ (Boorstin, ‘From Hero to Celebrity’, 83)

The dream to be famous is as old as humanity itself. Celebrities are born every day and they often disappear after their Warholian fifteen minutes. Tina Turner was mistaken, singing that ‘we don’t need another hero’ – ours is a hero-worshipping culture. One can look at celebrities as an extension of societies’ dreams of heroes and the embodiments of the Zeitgeist of a given era. And more often than not, it seems that each century has the celebrities it deserves. Among the star-wannabies and individuals known for being known, there are celebrities with whom we seem to connect in a way that transcends any other relationship pattern. They inspire, we aspire, and the processes of spectatorship and consumption allow for a merging of our self with the phantasmagorical ideal some cultural icons represent.

Celebrity culture itself has long ceased to be of interest only to tabloids and merchandisers, and celebrities themselves to the people that ‘consume’ them. Its analysis permeates all disciplines of study, making celebrity a multifaceted concept. Academics have continually called for a broader programme of celebrity studies; anthropologists have been identifying connections between celebrity status and religion (shamanism; idolatry; reliquaries); psychologists have been discussing the consequences of ‘celebrity worship’ and warning about the fate of those who rose to questionable fame within a fortnight; sociologists have been describing new ways of representing, producing and, most importantly, consuming celebrity; more recently, economists have pointed to the entertainment sector to find areas which have not been drastically touched by recession.

This call for presentations, papers and performnces addresses a serious, interdisciplinary and multicultural analysis of the phenomenon of celebrity. We encourage both an in-depth criticism of the state of contemporary culture as well as a legitimate recognition of celebrities’ cultural value. Scholars, artists, writers, media representatives, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and medical and law specialists are invited to send papers, reports, research studies, work-in-progress, works of art, workshops and pre-formed panels are invited on issues related to the following themes:

  • Definitions of celebrity-hood, stardom, fame, iconicity, charisma, uniqueness/singularity, mass culture/pop-culture, popularity, across cultures
  • The history of celebrity: the idols in the past and now
  • From zero to hero: ‘ordinary celebrities’
  • The modern celebrity culture: its status, benefits, etc.
  • Ideological conditions of celebrity culture
  • Celebrities as commodities
  • Representation of celebrities; ‘celebrification’ processes; the making of the ‘star’
  • Celebrity and identity formation; authenticity; national identity;
  • Celebrities: empowerment or objectification; self-fashioning (public vs private self)
  • Celebrities and the discourse on the body
  • Celebrities and fashion
  • Celebrity culture and the audience (i.e. fandom; celebrity worship; stalking; role models; franchising)
  • Good and bad PR
  • Celebrities as cultural fabrications
  • Celebrity and power; political function of celebrity status
  • Politics and celebrities; celebrities in politics; politicisation of celebrity
  • Mass media and the formation of celebrity culture
  • Rhetoric of fame
  • Celebrity in the media: news, shows, tabloids
  • Celebrity and the law, accountability, morality, crime, transgressions
  • Celebrity status and gender
  • Notorious celebrity/fame: The anti-heroes and anti-stars; Ethics of fame
  • Celebrities and their personnel
  • Child celebrities: Too young for fame?
  • Celebrity status as a burden; The weight of stardom
  • Forgotten celebrities: What happens when fame disappears? Celebrities and ageing; Posthumous fame
  • Unwanted fame
  • Intercultural perspective on celebrity: i.e. Bollywood vs Hollywood
  • (Post)colonialism and celebrity
  • Celebrity as ‘Other’
  • (Auto)biographies of/by stars and idols: (self-)representation, truth/biofiction
  • Celebrity as educators; their positive impact; celebrities and humanitarian actions; awareness-raising
  • Celebrity confessional literature; Self-help books by celebrities
  • Teaching about celebrity culture

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.

What to Send Papers will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 12th October 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper of no more than 3000 words should be submitted by Friday 18th January 2013. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords E-mails should be entitled: Celebrity2 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Katarzyna Bronk: Dr Rob Fisher:

The conference is part of the Critical Issues series of research projects. The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

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