Public Release:  Conference puts spotlight on celebrity culture

University of East Anglia

The impact and politics of celebrity culture will be discussed at the first major international conference on the topic this week.

The inaugural conference of the journal Celebrity Studies, which was co-founded and is co-edited by Dr Su Holmes of the University of East Anglia, takes place in Australia, from December 12-14.

The conference, hosted by Deakin University in Melbourne, will address issues ranging from celebrity philanthropy, 'queer' celebrity, the production of celebrity and digital celebrity, to celebrity and feminism, political celebrity and the transnational and global flows of fame. Research being presented includes papers on celebrity and aging, paparazzi photography and the celebrity industry, as well as reality television and its impact on celebrity.

Dr Holmes, of UEA's School of Film, Television and Media Studies, said: "The conference is testament to the fact that the journal, and the study of celebrity, is alive and well and clearly expanding across a range of different disciplines, from film, media and television studies, to law and literary studies, and the digital humanities.

"The conference will recognise the importance of celebrity in understanding expressions of identity from various economic, cultural and political perspectives, as well as the inextricably linked nature of celebrity and consumption and the unique and crucial insight celebrity offers into the contemporary promotion and publicity industries."

Co-organiser and co-editor of Celebrity Studies Dr Sean Redmond, of Deakin University, said: "We don't like to admit it but celebrities offer us forms of identification and belonging, and we measure our happiness and sense of self-worth against them. They offer people, fans, a great deal of pleasure, and pleasure is a very important part of everyday life."

More than 120 delegates from around the world are due to attend the conference. A special edition of Celebrity Studies will be published in 2014 featuring the best papers presented at the conference.

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The Inaugural Celebrity Studies Journal Conference is being sponsored by the Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention at Deakin University and Routledge. Further details can found at www.deakin.edu.au/arts-ed/scca/events/celebrity/.

Celebrity Studies was launched by Routledge in March 2010 and focuses on the critical exploration of celebrity, stardom and fame. It aims to address key issues in the production, circulation and consumption of fame, and its manifestations in both contemporary and historical contexts, while functioning as a key forum for academic debate about the enterprise of celebrity studies itself. The journal currently publishes three issues a year and was short-listed in 2011 as the best new academic journal by its peers.

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