This is a timely collection exploring the politics of female celebrity across a range of contemporary, historical, media and national contexts. "In the Limelight and Under the Microscope" is a timely collection exploring the politics of female celebrity across a range of contemporary, historical, media and national contexts. Amidst concerns about the apparent 'decline' in the currency of modern fame ('famous for being famous'), as well as debates about the shifting parameters of public/private visibility, it is female celebrities who are positioned as the most active discursive terrain. This collection seeks to interrogate such phenomena by forging a greater conceptual, theoretical and historical dialogue between celebrity studies and critical gender studies. It takes as its starting point the understanding that female celebrity is a particularly fraught cultural phenomenon with ideological and industrial implications that warrant careful scrutiny.
In moving across case studies from the 19th century to the present day, this book works from the assumption that the case study should play a crucial role in generating debate about the dialogue between 'past' and 'present', and the individual essays will seek to reflect this spirit of enquiry.
Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 567 g
Dimensions: 228 x 153 x 23 mm
This collection offers a serious and satisfying intellectual engagement with female celebrity as a trans-media phenomenon. Fourteen highly readable essays scrutinize a wide range of issues that arise from the gendering of celebrity, from Helen Keller's frustrated attempts to further socialist causes to the negotiation of lesbianism by television personalities Rachel Maddow and Suze Orman, from Lily Langtry's carefully calibrated financial exploitation of her status as Victorian beauty (and royal mistress) to Britney Spears' inscription as a symbol of American excess and indulgence during the height of the Iraq war. "In the Limelight and Under the Microscope" expands our understanding of the cultural, political, and theoretical implications of celebrity as something more than a "guilty pleasure." This book succeeds in showing how, in many different cultural, historical, and textual circumstances, gender politics has played an important role in the creation of celebrity and in the fascination that it holds for so many.
Gaylyn Studlar is David May Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Program in Film & Media Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.