Panel Coordinators: Natasha Patterson (University of Northern British Columbia) and Camilla A. Sears (Thompson Rivers University)
Without question, celebrity culture is more pervasive than ever in contemporary Western societies, bolstered by technological changes, namely the internet and social media, and the popularity of “factual” entertainment formats like reality TV. Such rapid changes have ignited public and academic debates about the meaning of “celebrity” as it seems that anyone can become famous for just being themselves. As Diane Negra and Su Holmes (2008) write, “the concept of work (as well as ‘merit’ or ‘talent’) is increasingly seen as being evacuated from contemporary explanations of fame – especially in its gendered (feminine) forms.” Not surprisingly, women are at the forefront of these changes which has only served to exacerbate the social anxieties surrounding the encroachment of celebrity culture on our everyday lives. These changes have also highlighted intersections between celebrity and postfeminist media culture and the need to analyze contemporary formations of femininity.
We are seeking another participant to join our proposed panel on gender and celebrity for the 2015 SCMS conference in Montreal, Canada. We welcome submissions from a broad range of disciplines that generate new ways of thinking about and understanding celebrity culture. We are particularly interested in papers that draw attention to under-discussed or under-analyzed dimensions of gender and celebrity culture and/or that bring attention to different kinds of female celebrities such as pornstars.
Suggested paper topics include but are not limited to:
Discussions of female celebrities in the media (i.e., gossip sites, tabloids, entertainment news)
The rise of “ordinary” celebrities such as reality TV stars
Intersection(s) of postfeminism and celebrity
The cultural production of celebrity as a gendered phenomenon
Female celebrities as sites for the production of feminist meanings or the “feminist” celebrity
Moral panics in the media about female celebrities (i.e., Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears)
Localized studies of female celebrities (beyond the US)
Construction of female celebrity across various media platforms like social media
Please submit an abstract of 300-350 words and a brief bio of 50-100 words to Natasha Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Camilla A. Sears (email@example.com) by July 31st 2014. Successful submissions will be notified no later than Monday, August 11th 2014.
University of Northern British Columbia
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