Celebrity culture has a pervasive presence in our everyday lives – perhaps more so than ever before. It shapes not simply the production and consumption of media content but also the social values through which we experience the world. This collection analyses this phenomenon, bringing together essays which explore celebrity across a range of media, cultural and political contexts.
The authors investigate topics such as the intimacy of fame, political celebrity, stardom in American ‘quality’ television (Sarah Jessica Parker), celebrity 'reality' TV (I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!), the circulation of the porn star, the gallery film (David/David Beckham), the concept of cartoon celebrity (The Simpsons), fandom and celebrity (k.d. lang, *NSYNC), celebrity in the tabloid press, celebrity magazines (heat, Celebrity Skins), the fame of the serial killer and narratives of mental illness in celebrity culture.
The collection is organized into four themed sections:
- Fame Now broadly examines the contemporary contours of fame as they course through new media sites (such as 'reality' TV and the internet) and different social, cultural and political spaces.
- Fame Body attempts to situate the star or celebrity body at the centre of the production, circulation and consumption of contemporary fame.
- Fame Simulation considers the increasingly strained relationship between celebrity and artifice and ‘authenticity’.
- Fame Damage looks at the way the representation of fame is bound up with auto-destructive tendencies or dissolution.
Table of Contents
Notes on Contributors. Acknowledgements. Introduction: Understanding Celebrity Culture Section 1: Fame Now 1. Intimate Fame Everywhere 2. Its a Jungle Out There!: Playing the Game of Fame in Celebrity Reality TV 3. Bringing Out The * in You: SJP, Carrie Bradshaw and the Evolution of Television Stardom 4. I’m a Celebrity, Get Me into Politics: The Political Celebrity and the Celebrity Politician 5. Not Just Another "Powerless Elite"? When Fans Become Subcultural Celebrities Section 2: Fame Body 6. Spectacular Male Bodies and Jazz Age Celebrity Culture 7. Seeing is Believing: Constructions of Stardom and the Gay Porn Star in U.S. Gay Video Pornography 8. Celebrity Skins: The Illicit Textuality of the Celebrity Nude Magazine 9. Get a Famous Body: Star Styles and Celebrity Gossip in heat Magazine 10. Droppin’ It Like Its Hot: The Sporting Body of Serena Williams Section 3: Fame Simulation 11. Glitter and Grain: Aura and Authenticity in the Celebrity Photographs of Juergen Teller 12. The Mockery of Cartoon Celebrity: The Simpsons and the Fragmented Individual 13. Spending Time with (a) Celebrity: Sam Taylor-Woods Video Portrait of David Beckham 14. "I’m Jealous of the Fake Me": Postmodern Subjectivity and Identity Construction in Boy Band Fiction 15. Langsters’ Online: kd lang and the Creation of Internet Fan Communities Section 4: Fame Damage 16. Idols of Destruction: Celebrity and the Serial Killer 17. Madly Famous: Narratives of Mental Illness in Celebrity Culture 18. Celebrity: The Killing Fields of Popular Music 19. "Sometimes you Wanna Hate Celebrities": Tabloid Readers and Celebrity Coverage. Bibliography
Dr Su Holmes is Lecturer in Film and Television at the University of Kent, the author of British TV and Film Culture in the 1950s: Coming to a TV Near You! (2005) and co-editor of Understanding Reality Television (Routledge, 2004).
Dr Sean Redmond is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand, the co-editor of The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow: Hollywood Transgressor (2003) and the editor of Liquid Metal: The reader in science fiction film (2004).