Archive for April 2015

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[ecrea] CFP: Living Life in Public: Exploring the Private Lives of Celebrities / The Celebrity Project

Sat Apr 11 02:49:58 GMT 2015

Living Life in Public: Exploring the Private Lives of Celebrities /
The Celebrity Project

Tuesday 28th July – Thursday 30th July 2015

Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Presentations:

Celebrities are “well-known” individuals who either by choice or
by chance have achieved renown or infamy outside of personal and
professional circles. Despite complaints that celebrities routinely
make of the inconveniences of fame, many devote considerable resources
to retaining and increasing their visibility, and to crafting their
public images. Despite the very public nature of the celebrity, what
drives much mass interest in these rarefied individuals is very often
their private lives. Personal scandals can wreck (or in some cases,
even propel) celebrity success, and avoiding, managing and atoning for
scandal consists of a large part of maintaining a career in public.
Many celebrities are also astute in utilizing private life events such
as weddings and childbirth and personal struggles with failure,
addiction and romantic disappointment to make their public images more

The sector of media devoted to covering celebrities’ private lives
is a gigantic one, with “candid” photographs of Britney Spears,
David Beckham or Justin Bieber fetching huge sums. The romantic lives
of well-known star couples, like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
(“Kimye”), Ellen DeGeneres and Portia Rossi, and on and off-screen
lovers Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame receive
ink rivaling their creative outputs. Sport figures like Lance
Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius who reap the benefits of their
compelling personal stories must also face the abyss of doping
scandals and murder charges. The explosion of reality television has
introduced a new wrinkle as participants in internationally syndicated
shows like The Bachelor, Real Housewives and Big Brother gain tabloid
space not for achievements in sports, politics and the arts but for
the ways in which they perform versions of their own romantic,
domestic and professional lives. Exposing one’s private life appears
to be trumping public achievement as a means for achieving renown.
This, of course, is not just a Western phenomenon, and well known
figures from Asian and African music and cinema equally utilize
performances of their private lives to inform their public

Why this obsession with celebrities’ private lives? This question
offers a ripe opportunity to investigate the cultural, historical and
philosophical categories of public, private, and of celebrity itself.
Scholars, artists, fans, writers, lawyers, media professionals,
performers, even celebrities are invited to send papers, reports,
personal narratives, research studies, works-in-progress, works of
art, and workshop proposals on issues related but not limited to the
following themes, as they may manifest themselves in multiple
historical and geographic locations:

– Paparazzi and the celebrity press, gossip, lifestyle, home shows,
articles, and websites

– Celebrity bodies, plastic surgery, weight gain or loss, death and

– Celebrity self-commodification of personal lives: romance,
tragedy, hardships, addictions, comebacks, pregnancies, etc.

– Scandal, crisis management, public shaming and remorse, redemption
and penance campaigns

– Race and gender representation and celebrity, realness, whiteness,
celebrities of colour and mixed race, masculinity and femininity,
affirmative action and tokenism, celebrities and disability

– LGBT celebrities, coming out, outing and closeting, gay rumours
and innuendo, gay marriage, gender transitions, homophobia and its
career impact

– Personal life and image management, sham or hidden relationships
and marriages, synergistic relationships (Brangelina, Bennifer, Kimye)

– Reality stars and reality television, YouTube celebrities, talent
competitions, beauty contests, internet memes based on traditional and
internet celebrities

– Royalty as celebrity, succession crises, royal scandals,
pregnancies, ceremony and ritual, republican critics of royalty.

– Celebrity athletes, personal narratives, inspirational stories,
scandals, sportsmanship, club affiliations, on-field and locker room

– Celebrity and the law: celebrity crime, paternity suits, libel
suits, invasion of privacy, etc.

– Private life as a source of artistic inspiration and validation
for celebrities

– Celebrity autobiographies, self-help books, addiction narratives,
and exposees.

– Personal narratives, confessional poetry, lyrics and prose,
self-exposure as a creative trope

– Hip Hop personas and personal narratives, boasting and fronting,
players vs. haters, realness, hypermasculinity, race, gender and
linguistic diversity

– “Method” acting, bodily modification, use of private emotion,
spontaneity in performance

– Religion and celebrity, public and private expressions of faith,
personal and professional religiosity, celebrities with non-mainstream
or New Age faiths

– Celebrities and politics, public endorsements, private support,
reaction to social controversies

– Children of celebrities, child celebrities, and celebrity

– Fandom, collecting autographs and memorabilia, relationships
between fans and celebrities real or imagined, erotic fiction
featuring celebrities, cosplay, memorials and tributes

– Conventions, tours, personal appearances, award shows, red
carpets, acceptance speeches.

– Celebrity biopics, accuracy vs. dramatic license in depictions of
private lives, performing celebrity, casting and mimicry, celebrity
impersonators, celebrity parodies

– Celebrities and social media, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter
followers, posts, and mishaps

The Steering Group welcomes the submission of proposals for short
workshops, practitioner-based activities, performances, and pre-formed
panels. We particularly welcome short film screenings; photographic
essays; installations; interactive talks and alternative presentation
styles that encourage engagement.

What to Send:

Proposals will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word
proposals should be submitted by Friday 1st May 2015. If a proposal is
accepted for the conference, a full draft paper of no more than 3000
words should be submitted by Friday 19th June 2015. Proposals should
be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may
be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in
programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of
proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Celebrity4 Proposal Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using
footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as
bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all
proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week
you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost
in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic
route or resend.

Organising Chairs:

Jon Torn: (jonleontorn /at/ <mailto:(jonleontorn /at/>

Rob Fisher: (celeb4 /at/
<mailto:(celeb4 /at/>

The conference is part of the Critical Issues series of research
projects. The aim of the conference is to bring together people from
different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various
discussions which are innovative and exciting.All proposals accepted
for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be
eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected proposals may be
developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All
publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen
from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and
professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should
attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make
this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we
are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or

Jon Leon Torn, PhD
Associate Professor/EMF
School of Communication
Northern Arizona University
PO Box 5619
Flagstaff AZ 86011

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