Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Coming Summer 2011!

"Introduction to Celebrity Studies"
CMCL C204 ★ Course #9593
Summer Session 2 ★ M-F 10:30-11:20 am

Celebrities are a pervasive part of Western culture: in movies and TV shows, newspapers and magazines, on blogs and Twitter, runways and even cereal boxes. Celebrities are not just actors and musicians, but also writers, newscasters, athletes, models, designers, chefs, politicians, even CEOs. This is no accident. Celebrity is a multi-faceted phenomenon developed by a dedicated industry and maintained not just by celebrities and their entourages, but also journalists, bloggers, paparazzi, and fans. Some of these aspects may be recent developments, but they still connect to a long history of fame in Western culture.

This class will provide an introduction to the study of celebrity, primarily focused on film and television stardom but including examination of other examples as well. Class time will include lecture and some screenings. Readings will involve critical historical studies of celebrity phenomena as well as contemporary texts from popular culture, such as magazines and gossip blogs. Major assignments will include an exam for a midterm grade, and a detailed celebrity study set up as a blog for a final project.

Required texts will be available at Boxcar Books.

Need more info? Contact Associate Instructor Jennifer Jones, jones334(at)indiana(dot)edu


Here's an example of something we could study in the "Introduction to Celebrity Studies" course. Each of the following videos provides an example of how Britney Spears' work has referenced her relationship to celebrity over time. Potential questions for discussion might include:
  • What aspects of celebrity are present in each video?
  • How does each video represent Spears' relationship to celebrity?
  • Altogether, what do these videos point out about contemporary perceptions of celebrity?

"Lucky," released 2000, from the album Oops!... I Did It Again!

"Everytime," released 2004, from the album In the Zone

"Piece of Me," released 2007, from the album Blackout