PODCAST: Age Spots and Spotlights: Celebrity, Ageing and Performance
Birkbeck College presents:
Age Spots and Spotlights: Celebrity, Ageing and Performance
Diane Keaton has just published her memoirs. Reflecting on becoming a mother at 50 and kissing Jack Nicholson at 57, Keaton is ageing in her own unique way. On Friday 9 December Birkbeck, University of London, is holding a major research symposium exploring how stars including Keaton, Brigitte Bardot, Nicole Kidman and Elizabeth Taylor aged in the public eye.
This one-day research symposium, organised by Dr Janet McCabe and Dr Deborah Jermyn, will debate two significant (and interlinked) issues; performance and ageing. Encompassing both historical and topical case studies, speakers will consider a range of celebrities, stars and case studies drawn from different national and industrial contexts. The keynote speaker will be Professor Ginette Vincendeau (King’s College, University of London).
The co-organisers believe the time is right for new scholarship focussing on ageing and celebrity and for us to think anew about how we think about growing old. We hear endless reports of how age is becoming increasingly relative, ‘60 is the new 40’ and so on’. With the baby boomer generation going into retirement and being reluctant to be written off as ‘old’, there is a heightened demand for positive representations of ageing. At the same time, stars like Helen Mirren are re-writing the rules for older women working in Hollywood, says Jermyn. The symposium addresses some of these issues and asks just how much things are really changing, since women stars are still subjected to a much more critical eye as they age than are their male co-stars. ‘Growing old, and I do mean growing’ writes Diane Keaton, ‘requires reinvention’. I like this quote, says McCabe. We must adjust our ideas about how we age without talking exclusively about how we defy the ageing process. This symposium adopts different perspectives and thinks anew about how celebrity is changing our perceptions and attitudes toward ageing and getting older.
This event has been recorded and is available as a podcast at the following URL:
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