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 Dyer¹s 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 cinema¹s role in circulating the star image has been increasingly marginalized. In the years since Dyer¹s 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 ³fame² for fame¹s 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 ³the star² or is it simply more of the same?
Issue #65 of The Velvet Light Trap will explore our contemporary understandings of ³celebrity.² While the editors maintain a very broad definition of this phenomenon, special attention will be given to contributions that consider celebrity¹s 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 society¹s values.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
· Coming to ³terms² with ³stardom² and ³celebrity²
· Race, nation, class, gender, sexuality, and celebrity
· Transnationalism and celebrity
· Post-race ideology and celebrity
· Athletics and celebrity
· Spectacle and celebrity
· Politics and celebrity
· Fandom, fan production, and celebrity
· Celebrity weddings
· Celebrity death
· Celebrity children
· Celebrity adoptions
· Celebrity news (e.g. TMZ, E!)
· Tabloid culture
· Online gossip
· Scandal and infamy
· Reality television, aka ³Celebreality²
· Sex tapes
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Trap is 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.