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January 2009, Week 2


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Kevin Sanson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 8 Jan 2009 15:52:40 -0800
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Call for Papers: The Velvet Light Trap, Issue #65, Spring
2009 – Celebrity!
Stars are dead! Long live …
celebrity?! It has been nearly two decades since Richard Dyer’s influential Stars reinvented our theoretical
approaches to film stardom. In his text, Dyer interrogated the social meanings
we attach to screen icons and demonstrated how those meanings contribute to our
understanding of ourselves and others. While his project remains central to
star studies today, its exclusive focus on Hollywood stands at odds with a media environment in which the cinema’s role in
circulating the star image has been increasingly marginalized. In the years
since Dyer’s original publication, we have witnessed the emergence of a global
paparazzi culture that revels in the conflation between traditional notions of
stardom and a more ambiguous obsession with “fame” for fame’s sake. It is time
to investigate this awkward tension and consider the ramifications it holds for
the field of star studies. Does our current celebrity culture amount to a new
epoch in the evolution of “the star” or is it simply more of the same? 
Issue #65 of The Velvet Light Trap will explore our
contemporary understandings of “celebrity.” While the editors maintain a very
broad definition of this phenomenon, special attention will be given to
contributions that consider celebrity’s present manifestations in tabloid
culture, online gossip, and scandal or rethink previous engagements with
stardom from fresh perspectives. Whether papers approach celebrity as a
discursive category, a commercial commodity, and/or an object of consumption,
the editors anticipate submissions that connect these strategies to the
historical, industrial, political, and cultural impetuses that underpin a
society’s values. 
Possible topics include, but
are not limited to: 
·         Coming to “terms”
with “stardom” and “celebrity” 
·         Race, nation,
class, gender, sexuality, and celebrity
·         Transnationalism
and celebrity
·         Post-race ideology
and celebrity 
·         Athletics and
·         Spectacle and
·         Politics and
·         Fandom, fan
production, and celebrity
·         Celebrity
·         Celebrity death
·         Celebrity
·         Celebrity
·         Celebrity news
(e.g. TMZ, E!)
·         Tabloid culture
·         Online gossip
·         Scandal and
·         Reality television,
aka “Celebreality”
·         Sex tapes
·         Paparazzi
Papers should be
between 6,000 and 7,500 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced), in MLA
style with a cover page including the writer's name and contact information.
Please send four copies of the paper (including a one-page abstract with each
copy) in a format suitable to be sent to a reader anonymously. The journal's
Editorial Advisory Board will referee all submissions. 
For more
information or questions, contact Andrew Scahill at Submissions are due January 30, 2009, and should
be sent to: 
The Velvet Light Trap, c/o The Department of
Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas at Austin, CMA
6.118, Mail Code A0800, Austin, TX, 78712 
The Velvet Light Trapis an academic, peer-reviewed journal of film and television
studies. Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the
University of Texas-Austin alternately coordinate issues. The Editorial
Advisory Board includes such notable scholars as Charlie Keil, Dan Marcus, David Desser, David Foster, Michele Malach,
Joe McElhaney, Bambi Haggins, Jason Mittell, Malcolm Turvey, Nina Martin, James
Morrison, Karla Oeler, Tara McPherson, Steve Neale, Aswin Punathambekar, Peter
Bloom, Sean Griffin, and Michael Williams. 


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