In September 2005, UWS held the 'Celebrity Culture' conference, which brought around 100 speakers to Ayr, Scotland's Riviera (according to Trip Adviser). This March, Dr Philip Drake and I have co-edited a section of Cultural Politics (BERG), publishing a handful of those papers. You can find more here, but below is the running order. Thanks to all authors for hanging in there with us.
The Cultural Politics of Celebrity
Philip Drake and Andy Miah consider celebrity as a ubiquitous aspect of contemporary culture, mass media, and the Internet that is inextricably linked to developments in media systems that operate within capitalist systems of commodity exchange.
News, Celebrity and Vortextuality: A Study of the Media Coverage of the Michael Jackson Verdict
Gary Whannel examines the transformation of news as a cultural commodity and a social process by the expansion in the range, volume, and circulation speed of media production or what Whannel conceptualizes as 'Vortextuality' with reference to the coverage of the verdict announcement in the trial of Michael Jackson.
American artist David Levines project about unsolicited wannabe celebrity submissions to talent and other cultural agencies is a multidisciplinary and multiyear project of gathering, analysing, and archiving such unsolicited submissions in every field of cultural endeavour.
The 'Public Inquisitor' as Media Celebrity
Michael Higgins looks at the development and utility of celebrity among high-profile political interviewers, offering the revised description of 'public inquisitor' to describe the rise of the political interviewer as a celebrity form.
'As Seen on TV': The Celebrity Expert: How Taste is shaped by Lifestyle Media
Helen Powell and Sylvie Prasad examine how television, print, and advertising contribute to the construction of media stars such as Jamie Oliver whose function is to transfer knowledge of particular lifestyles to the lived experience of ordinary people.