Gender and Australian Celebrity Culture  book cover
1st Edition

Gender and Australian Celebrity Culture

ISBN 9780367681760
Published August 1, 2022 by Routledge
236 Pages

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Book Description

This intellectually vibrant volume is the first collection to deal with Australian celebrity in ways that account for both cultural and gendered specificities, demonstrating how gendered ways of imagining Australia are reinforced and contested in celebrity representations and self-presentations.

Gender and Australian Celebrity Culture engages with celebrities across a diverse range of fields – actors, journalists, athletes, comedians, writers, and television personalities – and in doing so critically reflects upon different forms of Australian fame and the media platforms and practices that sustain them. Authors in this volume engage directly with pertinent issues relating to gender and sexuality, including celebrity feminism and the generative capacity of feminist rage; normative femininity and its instability; hegemonic masculinities; and queerness and its (in)visibility. Contributors also intervene in a number of ongoing debates in media and cultural studies more broadly, including those around the politics and affordances of digital media; whiteness and Australia’s colonial histories; celebrity labour; and methodologies for celebrity studies. This timely collection urges scholars of celebrity to attend further both to the gendered nature of celebrity culture and to local conditions of production and consumption.

This book will be of key interest to researchers and graduate students in cultural studies, television and film studies, digital media studies, critical race and whiteness studies, gender and sexuality studies, and literary studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: ‘Gendering Australian celebrity’, Anthea Taylor and Joanna McIntyre

Part I

Celebrity masculinities and settler colonialism

Chapter One: ‘From mild colonial boy to Jake the Paed: Rolf Harris and Australian celebrity masculinity in the UK’, Tanya Serisier

Chapter Two: ‘The manly whiteness of Russell Crowe’, Sean Redmond

Chapter Three: ‘Johnathan Thurston, Indigeneity, and technologies of masculinity in Australian sporting celebrity culture’, Holly Randell-Moon

Part II

Feminist politics and celebrity feminisms

Chapter Four: ‘Celebritised anger: Theorising feminist rage, voice, and affective injustice through Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette’, Jilly Kay Boyce

Chapter Five: ‘Clementine Ford, online misogyny, and the labour of celebrity feminism’, Anita Brady

Chapter Six: "Good" girl turned "bad": Tracey Spicer’s memoir, celebrity feminist journalism, and #MeToo activism in Australia’, Anthea Taylor

Part III

Queer celebrity and marginalised subjectivities

Chapter Seven: ‘Interviewing a queer national celebrity: Carlotta as an "outsider within" Australian celebrity culture’, Joanna McIntyre

Chapter Eight: ‘"It was nice for me watching that, because [Magda Szubanski] was very calming": LGBTIQ+ Australians respond to marriage equality activism’, Lucy Watson

Part IV

Self-presentation and celebrity femininities

Chapter Nine: ‘"I can call myself Australian if I want to": Natalie Tran and Asian Australian femininity on YouTube’, Sara Tomkins

Chapter Ten: ‘Disarming femininity: Annabel Crabb, celebrity, politics and culture’, Frances Bonner

Chapter Eleven: ‘"Australian TV’s golden girl": Asher Keddie, Offspring, and the celebrity motherhood narrative’, Renee Middlemost


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Anthea Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. She is the author of four monographs in feminist media and cultural studies, the most recent of which is Postfeminism in Context: Women, Australian Popular Culture, and the Unsettling of Postfeminism (with Margaret Henderson, Routledge, 2020). Her book on Germaine Greer, celebrity, and the archive is forthcoming with Routledge.

Joanna McIntyre is a Lecturer in Media Studies at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. She has published extensively in the fields of media studies, trans studies, celebrity studies, and queer theory, including in the European Journal of Cultural Studies. Her monograph, Transgender Celebrity, is forthcoming with Routledge.


"Marked by originality, breadth and timeliness, this collection significantly enriches the literature on national celebrity cultures. Particularly striking is the lucidity of the analysis for those who lack familiarity with the Australian context (but hope to gain it)." - Diane Negra, University College Dublin

"This rich and lively collection of essays brings the analysis of celebrity in Australia right up to date: not only through its savvy selection of subjects, and the focus on the cultural conjunctures within which they resonate, but also by demonstrating gender's centrality to the discussion of contemporary formations of celebrity." - Graeme Turner, University of Queensland