Call for Papers

CFP: Transformations in Celebrity Culture: The Fifth International Celebrity Studies Conference

Thursday 18 – Saturday 20 June, 2020 | University of Winchester, UK. | #celebritystudies2020 |

Sponsored by the Culture-Media-Text Research Centre, Faculty of Arts, University of Winchester.


Routledge and the University of Winchester are delighted to announce Transformations in Celebrity Culture:  The Fifth International Celebrity Studies Journal conference.

Keynote speakers (confirmed):

  • Dr. Nandana Bose, FLAME University, India.
  • Dr. Anthea Taylor, University of Sydney, Australia.
  • Prof. Brenda R. Weber, Indiana University Bloomington, USA.
  • Dr. Milly Williamson, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

Celebrity Studies is now a rich, diverse and established field of academic study that focuses on the production, reception, and functions – social, psychological and textual – of a wide range of public figures. Building on theories of spectacle (Boorstin 1961), histories of fame (Braudy 1986), and studies of stardom (Dyer 1979, 1986; Gledhill 1991; Stacey 1994), the academic study of celebrity was given shape around the turn of the century by a number of seminal books (DeCordova 1990; Gamson 1994; Marshall 1997; Turner, Bonner and Marshall 2000; Giles 2000; Rojek 2001; Turner 2004), readers (Marshall 2006; Redmond and Holmes 2007), and edited collections (Holmes and Redmond 2006; Negra and Holmes 2011). The last decade has seen the publication of new editions of now-classic books (Turner 2014; Marshall 2014), new histories of celebrity (Inglis 2010; Lilti 2017), and a sustained expansion in myriad exciting directions, including online fame (Marwick 2013), celebrity politics (Wheeler 2013), celebrity and the environment (Brockington 2009), transnational stardom (Meeuf and Raphael 2013), celebrity and ‘race’ (Mask 2009), celebrity feminism (Taylor 2017), celebrity and ageing (Jermyn 2014), celebrity and disability (Howe and Parker 2012), the political economy of celebrity (Williamson 2016), queering celebrity (Halberstam 2013), celebrity and religion (Weber 2019), and literary celebrity (Honings and Franssen 2017), among many others.

Since it first appeared in 2010 under the editorship of Sean Redmond and Su Holmes, the Routledge journal Celebrity Studies has become a key international publication in the field, providing an essential platform for the best new critical scholarship on celebrity and stardom. Following successful conferences in Melbourne, London, Amsterdam, and Rome, Transformations in Celebrity Culture thus provides the opportunity to both celebrate and take critical stock of the developments that shaped and shook the field during the first 10 years of Celebrity Studies journal, and to look forward into the future. In an era marked by crisis and anxiety, how has our understanding of stardom changed? What has been the impact of social, political, cultural and economic developments on the cultures of celebrity? Do we discern new, alternative forms of renown?

The conference committee invites abstracts for :

  • Individual 20-minute papers
  • Pre-constituted panels comprising 3 x 20 minute papers
  • Individual short papers for work-in-progress masterclasses (for postgraduates and Early Career Researchers)

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

The celebrity studies canon / Methodologies in celebrity studies / Celebrity and technology / Star and celebrity branding / National, international, and transnational stars / Reality TV and celebrity / Post-network TV celebrity / Microcelebrity / Celebrity Influencers / DIY celebrity / Local celebrity / Celebrity and politics / Celebrity and austerity / Entrepreneurial celebrity / Celebrity and power / Celebrity historiography / Literary celebrity / Sport and celebrity / Music and celebrity / Royalty and other ascribed celebrity / Family dynasties / Celebrity couples / Queer celebrity / Fame damage / Celebrity and affect / Celebrity and gender / Celebrity and genre / Anti-celebrity / The phenomenology of celebrity / Cult stardom and celebrity / Music and celebrity / Charisma and celebrity / Pathology and celebrity / Toxic celebrity / Celebrity and news / Celebrity, sex and sexuality / Illness, disability and celebrity / Celebrity art and artists / Celebrity and class / ‘Race’, ethnicity and celebrity / Celebrity and persona / Video games and celebrity / Extreme celebrity / Celebrity and crime / Celebrity and privacy / Celebrity and pornography / Celebrity and authenticity / Fame in virtual reality / Celebrity and fandoms / Celebrity and memory / Posthumous celebrity / Celebrity pilgrimages

Deadline for abstracts: EXTENDED TO MONDAY 7 OCTOBER 2019

All enquiries and submissions:

Individual abstracts: 350 words | 50-word biography.

Pre-constituted panel abstracts: 150-word overview | 3 x 350-word abstracts | 3 x 50-word bios | Name of lead contact and panel chair.

ECR Masterclasses (for advanced PhDs or early-stage postdocs): Short outline of work (PhD thesis, chapter, project…) in progress: 150-350 words | 50-word biography | Sessions will include informal discussion, moderated by members of the conference organization team, and sharing of ideas in a safe and constructive environment; feedback will be offered from keynote speakers and relevant senior academics.

Notifications of acceptance: 1 December 2019.

Abstracts should be submitted on Word documents. Please abide by the maximum word limits.

Stipends will be awarded to most promising abstract and best conference presentation by postgraduate students. Please indicate on your abstract if you wish to be considered for these.

A special issue of the best papers from the conference will be published in Celebrity Studies Journal in 2021.

Organising Committee

Neil Ewen (chair), University of Winchester

Shelley Cobb, University of Southampton

Gaston Franssen, University of Amsterdam

David Giles, University of Winchester

Hannah Hamad, Cardiff University

Laura Hubner, University of Winchester

Erin Meyers, Oakland University

Sean Redmond, Deakin University

James Rendell, University of Winchester