These powerful stories limn the complexities and dilemmas of life in Kansas, a state at "the center of the center of America," as a billboard in one story announces. Andrew Malan Milward explores the less visible aspects of the Kansas experience—where its agrarian past comes into conflict with the harsh present reality of drugs, fundamentalism, and corporatism, relegating its agrarian identity to museums and amusement parks.
Presented in a triptych, the stories in Milward's debut collection range across a varied terrain, from tumbledown rural barns to modern urban hospitals, revealing the secrets contained therein.
Why does one talented individual win lasting recognition in a particular field, while another equally talented person does not? While there are many possible reasons, one obvious answer is that something more than talent is requisite to produce fame. The “something more” in the field of architecture, asserts Roxanne Williamson, is the association with a “famous” architect at the moment he or she first receives major publicity or designs the building for which he or she will eventually be celebrated. In this study of more than six hundred American architects who have achieved a place in architectural histories, Williamson finds that only a small minority do not fit the “right person–right time” pattern. She traces the apprenticeship connection in case studies of Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Henry Hobson Richardson, the firm of McKim, Mead & White, Latrobe and his descendants, the Bulfinch and Renwick Lines, the European immigrant masters, and Louis Kahn. Although she acknowledges and discusses the importance of family connections, the right schools, self-promotion, scholarships, design competition awards, and promotion by important journals, Williamson maintains that the apprenticeship connection is the single most important predictor of architectural fame. She offers the intriguing hypothesis that what is transferred in the relationship is not a particular style or approach but rather the courage and self-confidence to be true to one’s own vision. Perhaps, she says, this is the case in all the arts. American Architects and the Mechanics of Fame is sure to provoke thought and comment in architecture and other creative fields.
In contemporary society, the cult of celebrity is inescapable. Anyone can be turned into a celebrity, and anything can be made into a celebrity event. Celebrity has become a part of everyday life, a common reference point. But how have people like Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Bill Clinton or Princess Diana impressed themselves so powerfully on the public mind? Do they have unique qualities, or have their images been constructed by the media? And what of the dark side of celebrity – why is the hunger to be in the public eye so great that people are prepared to go to any lengths to achieve it, as numerous mass murderers and serial killers have done.
Chris Rojek brings together celebrated figures from the arts, sports, politics and other public spheres, from O.J. Simpson and Marilyn Monroe to Hitler and David Bowie, and touches on many movements and fads, including punk, rock-and-roll and fashion. Rojek analyzes the difference between ascribed celebrity, which derives from bloodline, and achieved celebrity, which follows on from personal achievement - the difference between Princess Margaret and, say, Woody Allen. He also shows how there is no parallel in history to today's ubiquitous "living" form of celebrity, powered by newspapers, PR departments, magazines and electronic mass media.
The celebrity is an ambiguous figure in contemporary culture. Simultaneously celebrated and denigrated, stars represent not only the embodiment of success, but also the ultimate construction of false value. They are a peculiar form of public subjectivity that negotiates the tension between a democratic culture of access and a consumer capitalist culture of excess. Celebrity and Power examines this dynamic, questioning the cultural forces behind our need to become endlessly embroiled with the construction and collapse of celebrities.Through detailed analysis of figures from Tom Cruise to Oprah Winfrey to the commercial pop music sensation New Kids on the Block, author and cultural critic P. David Marshall investigates the general public’s desire to associate with celebrity. He examines various kinds of stars, questioning the needs each type fulfills in our lives and relating these needs to particular entertainment media. Marshall asks why enigmatic, distant stars populate the silver screen while television constructs approachable “everyman” figures and popular music features audience-identified celebrity personalities. He looks at the significance of stars who amass cultlike followings as well as those who appear to prompt outright rejection.Celebrity and Power identifies the forces that have enveloped the development of democratic culture and their partial resolution through a redefined public sphere populated by celebrities. Marshall argues that the new concern with the masses that characterizes modern capitalism promotes figures who can be seen as part of the crowd but who are articulated as individuals. As such, they provide a model of self-differentiation that furthers an economy in which product consumption is thought to bestow individualism and personality.Bridging the fields of media studies, film studies, communications, and popular culture, Marshall’s volume is a unique resource for students and researchers in all of these disciplines as well as for the general reader.P. David Marshall is director of the Media and Cultural Studies Centre in the Department of English, University of Queensland in Australia.
The essays in English Theatrical Anecdotes, 1660-1800 explore the theatrical anecdote’s role in the construction of stage fame in England’s emergent celebrity culture during the long eighteenth century, as well as the challenges of employing such anecdotes in theatre scholarship today. This collection showcases scholarship that complicates the theatrical anecdote and shows its many sides and applications beyond the expected comic punch. Discussing anecdotal narratives about theatre people as producing, maintaining, and sometimes toppling individual fame, this book crucially investigates a key mechanism of celebrity in the long eighteenth century that reaches into the nineteenth century and beyond. The anecdote erases boundaries between public and private and fictionalizing the individual in ways deeply familiar to twenty-first century celebrity culture.
Celebrities depend upon fans to sustain their popularity and livelihood, and fans are happy to oblige. With social media they can follow their favorite (or least favorite) celebrities’ every move, and get glimpses into their lives, homes, and behind-the-scenes work. Fans interact with celebrities now more than ever, and often feel that they have a claim on their time, attention, and accountability. In Fame and Fandom, the contributors examine this tumultuous dynamic and bring together celebrity studies and fan studies like never before.
In case studies including Supernatural, Harry Styles, YouTube influencers, film location sites, Keanu Reeves, and celebrities as fans, readers find new approaches to fan/celebrity encounters and parasocial relationships. This is the go-to volume on the symbiotic relationship between fame and fandom.
"The sixth century is a very contentious time; Fame, Money, and Power unambiguously advances our understanding of Peisistratos and archaic Athens. No one else has tackled so many of the difficult issues that Lavelle has taken on."
--David Tandy, University of Tennessee
"Well researched and engaging, [Fame, Money, and Power] painstakingly builds [its] case for how the various phases of Peisistratos's career developed."
--Tony Podlecki, University of British Columbia
The Athenian "golden age" occurred in the fifth century B.C.E. and was attributed to their great achievements in art, literature, science, and philosophy. However, the most important achievement of the time was the political movement from tyranny to democracy. Though tyranny is thought to be democracy's opposite and deadly enemy, that is not always the case. In Fame, Money, and Power, Brian Lavelle states that the perceived polarity between tyranny and democracy does not reflect the truth in this instance.
The career of the tyrant Peisistratos resembles the careers and successes of early democratic soldier-politicians. As with any democratic political system, Peisistratos' governance depended upon the willingness of the Athenians who conceded governance to him. This book attempts to show how the rise of Peisistratos fits into an essentially democratic system already entrenched at Athens in the earlier sixth century B.C.E.
Emerging from the apparent backwater of eastern Attika, Peisistratos led the Athenians to victory over their neighbors, the Megarians, in a long, drawn out war. That victory earned him great popularity from the Athenians and propelled him along the road to monarchy. Yet, political success at Athens, even as Solon implies in his poems, depended upon the enrichment of the Athenian d?mos, not just fame and popularity. Peisistratos tried and failed two times to "root" his tyranny, his failures owing to a lack of sufficient money with which to appease the demos. Exiled from Athens, he spent the next ten years amassing money to enrich the Athenians and power to overcome his enemies. He then sustained his rule by grasping the realities of Athenian politics. Peisistratos' tyrannies were partnerships with the d?mos, the first two of which failed. His final formula for success, securing more money than his opponents possessed and then more resources for enriching the d?mos, provided the model for future democratic politicians of Athens who wanted to obtain and keep power in fifth-century Athens.
This new edition of the critically acclaimed The Fame of Gawa—originally published in 1986—makes available for the first time this important work in paperback. The Fame of Gawa is concerned with fundamental practices of value creation on Gawa, a small island off the southeast coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, the inhabitants of which participate in the long-distance kula shell exchange ring. Integrating various aspects of the study of society and culture--including the sociocultural construction of space and time, self-other relations and the body, and moral and political problems of hierarchy and equality—Nancy D. Munn shows that it is through achieving fame in the wider inter-island world that the Gawan community asserts its own internal viablity.
The countless retellings and reimaginings of the private and public lives of Phillis Wheatley, Sally Hemings, Sarah Baartman, Mary Seacole, and Sarah Forbes Bonetta have transformed them into difficult cultural and black feminist icons. In Infamous Bodies, Samantha Pinto explores how histories of these black women and their ongoing fame generate new ways of imagining black feminist futures. Drawing on a variety of media, cultural, legal, and critical sources, Pinto shows how the narratives surrounding these eighteenth- and nineteenth-century celebrities shape key political concepts such as freedom, consent, contract, citizenship, and sovereignty. Whether analyzing Wheatley's fame in relation to conceptions of race and freedom, notions of consent in Hemings's relationship with Thomas Jefferson, or Baartman's ability to enter into legal contracts, Pinto reveals the centrality of race, gender, and sexuality in the formation of political rights. In so doing, she contends that feminist theories of black women's vulnerable embodiment can be the starting point for future progressive political projects.
In Just Like Us: Digital Debates on Feminism and Fame, Caitlin E. Lawson examines the rise of celebrity feminism, its intersections with digital culture, and its complicated relationships with race, sexuality, capitalism, and misogyny. Through in-depth analyses of debates across social media and news platforms, Lawson maps the processes by which celebrity culture, digital platforms, and feminism transform one another. As she analyzes celebrity-centered stories ranging from “The Fappening” and the digital attack on actress Leslie Jones to stars’ activism in response to #MeToo, Lawson demonstrates how celebrity culture functions as a hypervisible space in which networked publics confront white feminism, assert the value of productive anger in feminist politics, and seek remedies for women’s vulnerabilities in digital spaces and beyond. Just Like Us asserts that, together, celebrity culture and digital platforms form a crucial discursive arena where postfeminist logics are unsettled, opening up more public, collective modes of holding individuals and groups accountable for their actions.
What did Wordsworth wear, and where did he walk? Who was Byron’s new mistress, and how did his marriage fare? Answers—sometimes accurate, sometimes not—were tantalizingly at the ready in the Romantic era, when confessional poetry, romans à clef, personal essays, and gossip columns offered readers exceptional access to well-known authors. But at what point did familiarity become overfamiliarity? Widely recognized as a social virtue, familiarity—a feeling of emotional closeness or comforting predictability—could also be dangerous, vulgar, or boring. In The Limits of Familiarity, Eckert persuasively argues that such concerns shaped literary production in the Romantic period. Bringing together reception studies, celebrity studies, and literary history to reveal how anxieties about familiarity shaped both Romanticism and conceptions of authorship, this book encourages us to reflect in our own fraught historical moment on the distinction between telling all and telling all too much.
Four million adults in the United States say that becoming famous is the most important goal in their lives. In any random sampling of one hundred American adults, two will have fame as their consuming desire. What motivates those who set fame as their priority, where did the desire come from, how does the pursuit of fame influence their lives, and how is it expressed? Based on the research of Orville Gilbert Brim, award-winning scholar in the field of child and human development, Look at Me! answers those questions.
Look at Me! examines the desire to be famous in people of all ages, backgrounds, and social status and how succeeding or failing affects their lives and their personalities. It explores the implications of the pursuit of fame throughout a person's lifetime, covering the nature of the desire; fame, money, and power; the sources of fame; how people find a path to fame; the kinds of recognition sought; creating an audience; making fame last; and the resulting, often damaged, life of the fame-seeker.
In our current age of celebrity fixation and reality television, Brim gives us a social-psychological perspective on the origins of this pervasive desire for fame and its effects on our lives.
"Look at Me! is a fascinating in-depth study of society's obsession with fame. If you ever wondered what it's like to be famous, why fame comes to some and is sought by others, it's all here . . ."
---Jeffrey L. Bewkes, Chairman and CEO, Time Warner
"In a voice filled with wisdom and insight, daring and self-reflection, Orville Brim masterfully traces the developmental origins and trajectory of fame. Look at Me! lets us see---with new eyes---the cultural priorities and obsessions that feed our individual hunger and appetites. A rare and rewarding book."
---Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education at Harvard University and author of Respect and The Third Chapter
Orville Gilbert Brim has had a long and distinguished career. He is the former director of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Midlife Development, former president of the Foundation for Child Development, former president of the Russell Sage Foundation, and author and coauthor of more than a dozen books about human development, intelligence, ambition, and personality.
The film star is not simply an actor but a historical phenomenon that derives from the production of an actor's attractiveness, the circulation of his or her name and likeness, and the support of media consumers. This book analyzes the establishment and transformation of the transnational film star system and the formations of historically important film stars--Japanese and non-Japanese--and casts new light on Japanese modernity as it unfolded between the 1910s and 1930s.
Hideaki Fujiki illustrates how film stardom and the star system emerged and evolved, touching on such facets as the production, representation, circulation, and reception of performers' images in films and other media. Examining several individual performers--particularly benshi narrators, Onoe Matsunosuke, Tachibana Teijiro, Kurishima Sumiko, Clara Bow, and Natsukawa Shizue--as well as certain aspects of different star systems that bolstered individual stardom, this study foregrounds the associations of contradictory, multivalent social factors that constituted modernity in Japan, such as industrialization, capitalism, colonialism, nationalism, and consumerism. Through its nuanced treatment of the production and consumption of film stars, this book shows that modernity is not a simple concept, but an intricate, contested, and paradoxical nexus of diverse social elements emerging in their historical contexts.
In bringing biography and celebrity together, the essays in Making Stars interrogate contemporary and current understandings of each. Although biography was not invented in the eighteenth century, the period saw the emergence of works that focus on individuals who are interesting as much, if not more, for their everyday, lived experience than for their status or actions. At the same time, celebrity emerged as public fascination for the private lives of publicly visible individuals. Biography and celebrity are mutually constitutive, but in complex and varied ways that this volume unpacks. Contributors to this volume present us a picture of eighteenth-century celebrity that was mediated across multiple sites, demonstrating that eighteenth-century celebrity culture in Britain was more pervasive, diverse and, in many ways, more egalitarian, than previously supposed.
In Manufacturing Celebrity Vanessa Díaz traces the complex power dynamics of the reporting and paparazzi work that fuel contemporary Hollywood and American celebrity culture. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, her experience reporting for People magazine, and dozens of interviews with photographers, journalists, publicists, magazine editors, and celebrities, Díaz examines the racialized and gendered labor involved in manufacturing and selling relatable celebrity personas. Celebrity reporters, most of whom are white women, are expected to leverage their sexuality to generate coverage, which makes them vulnerable to sexual exploitation and assault. Meanwhile, the predominantly male Latino paparazzi can face life-threatening situations and endure vilification that echoes anti-immigrant rhetoric. In pointing out the precarity of those who hustle to make a living by generating the bulk of celebrity media, Díaz highlights the profound inequities of the systems that provide consumers with 24/7 coverage of their favorite stars.
The phenomenon of celebrity burst upon the world scene about a century ago, as movies and modern media brought exceptional, larger-than-life personalities before the masses. During the same era, modernist authors were creating works that defined high culture in our society and set aesthetics apart from the middle- and low-brow culture in which celebrity supposedly resides. To challenge this ingrained dichotomy between modernism and celebrity, Jonathan Goldman offers a provocative new reading of early twentieth-century culture and the formal experiments that constitute modernist literature's unmistakable legacy. He argues that the literary innovations of the modernists are indeed best understood as a participant in the popular phenomenon of celebrity.
Presenting a persuasive argument as well as a chronicle of modernism's and celebrity's shared history, Modernism Is the Literature of Celebrity begins by unraveling the uncanny syncretism between Oscar Wilde's writings and his public life. Goldman explains that Wilde, in shaping his instantly identifiable public image, provided a model for both literary and celebrity cultures in the decades that followed. In subsequent chapters, Goldman traces this lineage through two luminaries of the modernist canon, James Joyce and Gertrude Stein, before turning to the cinema of mega-star Charlie Chaplin. He investigates how celebrity and modernism intertwine in the work of two less obvious modernist subjects, Jean Rhys and John Dos Passos. Turning previous criticism on its head, Goldman demonstrates that the authorial self-fashioning particular to modernism and generated by modernist technique helps create celebrity as we now know it.
Jeffrey Dahmer. Ted Bundy. John Wayne Gacy. Over the past thirty years, serial killers have become iconic figures in America, the subject of made-for-TV movies and mass-market paperbacks alike. But why do we find such luridly transgressive and horrific individuals so fascinating? What compels us to look more closely at these figures when we really want to look away? Natural Born Celebrities considers how serial killers have become lionized in American culture and explores the consequences of their fame.
David Schmid provides a historical account of how serial killers became famous and how that fame has been used in popular media and the corridors of the FBI alike. Ranging from H. H. Holmes, whose killing spree during the 1893 Chicago World's Fair inspired The Devil in the White City, right up to Aileen Wuornos, the lesbian prostitute whose vicious murder of seven men would serve as the basis for the hit film Monster, Schmid unveils a new understanding of serial killers by emphasizing both the social dimensions of their crimes and their susceptibility to multiple interpretations and uses. He also explores why serial killers have become endemic in popular culture, from their depiction in The Silence of the Lambs and The X-Files to their becoming the stuff of trading cards and even Web sites where you can buy their hair and nail clippings.
Bringing his fascinating history right up to the present, Schmid ultimately argues that America needs the perversely familiar figure of the serial killer now more than ever to manage the fear posed by Osama bin Laden since September 11.
"This is a persuasively argued, meticulously researched, and compelling examination of the media phenomenon of the 'celebrity criminal' in American culture. It is highly readable as well."—Joyce Carol Oates
Moteuczoma, the last king who ruled the Aztec Empire, was rarely seen or heard by his subjects, yet his presence was felt throughout the capital city of Tenochtitlan, where his deeds were recorded in hieroglyphic inscriptions on monuments and his command was expressed in highly refined ritual performances. What did Moteuczoma’s “fame” mean in the Aztec world? How was it created and maintained? In this innovative study, Patrick Hajovsky investigates the king’s inscribed and spoken name, showing how it distinguished his aura from those of his constituencies, especially other Aztec nobles, warriors, and merchants, who also vied for their own grandeur and fame. While Tenochtitlan reached its greatest size and complexity under Moteuczoma, the “Great Speaker” innovated upon fame by tying his very name to the Aztec royal office.
As Moteuczoma’s fame transcends Aztec visual and oral culture, Hajovsky brings together a vast body of evidence, including Nahuatl language and poetry, indigenous pictorial manuscripts and written narratives, and archaeological and sculptural artifacts. The kaleidoscopic assortment of sources casts Moteuczoma as a divine king who, while inheriting the fame of past rulers, saw his own reputation become entwined with imperial politics, ideological narratives, and eternal gods. Hajovsky also reflects on posthumous narratives about Moteuczoma, which created a very different sense of his fame as a conquered subject. These contrasting aspects of fame offer important new insights into the politics of personhood and portraiture across Aztec and colonial-period sources.
The Politics of Fame
Burns, Eric Rutgers University Press, 2019 Library of Congress E161.B87 2019 | Dewey Decimal 306.0973
Celebrities can come from many different realms: film, music, politics, sports. But what do all these major celebrities have in common? What elevates them to the status of household names while their equally talented peers remain in relative obscurity? Is it just a question of charisma, or does fame depend more on the collective fantasies of fans than the actual accomplishments of celebrities?
In search of answers, cultural historian Eric Burns delves deep into the biographies of some of the most famous figures in American history, from Benjamin Franklin to Fanny Kemble, Elvis Presley to Gene Tierney, and Michael Jordan to Oprah Winfrey. Through these case studies, he considers the evolution of celebrity throughout the ages. More controversially, he questions the very status of fame in the twenty-first century, an era in which thousands of minor celebrities have seen their fifteen minutes in the spotlight.
The Politics of Fame is a provocative and entertaining look at the lives and afterlives of America’s most beloved celebrities as well as the mad devotion they inspired. It raises important questions about what celebrity worship reveals about the worshippers—and about the state of the nation itself
How can people in the spotlight control their self-representations when the whole world seems to be watching? The question is familiar, but not new. Julia Fawcett examines the stages, pages, and streets of eighteenth-century London as England's first modern celebrities performed their own strange and spectacular self-representations. They include the enormous wig that actor Colley Cibber donned in his comic role as Lord Foppington--and that later reappeared on the head of Cibber's cross-dressing daughter, Charlotte Charke. They include the black page of Tristram Shandy, a memorial to the parson Yorick (and author Laurence Sterne), a page so full of ink that it cannot be read. And they include the puffs and prologues that David Garrick used to heighten his publicity while protecting his privacy; the epistolary autobiography, modeled on the sentimental novel, of Garrick's protégée George Anne Bellamy; and the elliptical poems and portraits of the poet, actress, and royal courtesan Mary Robinson, a.k.a. Perdita.
Linking all of these representations is a quality that Fawcett terms "over-expression," the unique quality that allows celebrities to meet their spectators' demands for disclosure without giving themselves away. Like a spotlight so brilliant it is blinding, these exaggerated but illegible self-representations suggest a new way of understanding some of the key aspects of celebrity culture, both in the eighteenth century and today. They also challenge divides between theatrical character and novelistic character in eighteenth-century studies, or between performance studies and literary studies today. The book provides an indispensable history for scholars and students in celebrity studies, performance studies, and autobiography—and for anyone curious about the origins of the eighteenth-century self.
Stellar Transformations: Movie Stars of the 2010s circles around questions of stardom, performance, and their cultural contexts in ways that remind us of the alluring magic of stars while also bringing to the fore the changing ways in which viewers engaged with them during the last decade. A salient idea that guides much of the collection is the one of transformation, expressed in these pages as the way in which post-millennial movie stars are in one way or another reshaping ideas of performance and star presence, either through the self-conscious revision of aspects of their own personas or in redirecting or progressing some earlier aspect of the culture. Including a diverse lineup of stars such as Oscar Isaac, Kristen Stewart, Tilda Swinton, and Tyler Perry, the chapters in Stellar Transformations paint the portrait of the meaning of star images during the complex decade of the 2010s, and in doing so will offer useful case studies for scholars and students engaged in the study of stardom, celebrity, and performance in cinema.
This book examines the renowned portrait collection assembled by C. P. E. Bach, J. S. Bach’s second son.
One of the most celebrated German composers of the eighteenth century, C. P. E. Bach spent decades assembling an extensive portrait collection of some four hundred music-related items—from oil paintings to engraved prints. The collection was dispersed after Bach’s death in 1788, but with Annette Richards’s painstaking reconstruction, the portraits once again present a vivid panorama of music history and culture, reanimating the sensibility and humor of Bach’s time. Far more than a mere multitude of faces, Richards argues, the collection was a major part of the composer’s work that sought to establish music as an object of aesthetic, philosophical, and historical study.
The Temple of Fame and Friendship brings C. P. E. Bach’s collection to life, giving readers a sense of what it was like for visitors to tour the portrait gallery and experience music in rooms thick with the faces of friends, colleagues, and forebears. She uses the collection to analyze the “portraitive” aspect of Bach’s music, engaging with the influential theories of Swiss physiognomist Johann Caspar Lavater. She also explores the collection as a mode of cultivating and preserving friendship, connecting this to the culture of remembrance that resonates in Bach’s domestic music. Richards shows how the new music historiography of the late eighteenth century, rich in anecdote, memoir, and verbal portrait, was deeply indebted to portrait collecting and its negotiation between presence and detachment, fact and feeling.
This magisterial book offers comprehensive accounts of the professional itineraries of three women in the silent film in the Netherlands, France and North America. Annette Förster presents a careful assessment of the long career of Dutch stage and film actress Adriënne Solser; an exploration of the stage and screen careers of French actress and filmmaker Musidora and Canadian-born actress and filmmaker Nell Shipman; an analysis of the interaction between the popular stage and the silent cinema from the perspective of women at work in both realms; fresh insights into Dutch stage and screen comedy, the French revue and the American Northwest drama of the 1910s; and much more, all grounded in a wealth of archival research.