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[Commlist] cfp: Celebrity and Crisis, Celebrity in Crisis
Fri Oct 16 11:17:29 GMT 2020
MAY 10-13, 2021
CELEBRITY AND CRISIS, CELEBRITY IN CRISIS
Organized by University of Bologna: Dipartimento di Scienze per la
Qualità della Vita, DAR (La Soffitta), Scienze Politiche e Sociali, INC
(Italian Research Network in Celebrity Culture), in collaboration with
CFC (Culture, Fashion, Communication) e CoMediaS (Comunicazione, Media e
The emergency and exceptional situations linked to crisis contexts
involve a series of urgencies and perspectives that also affect the
world of celebrities. Depending on the type of crisis in progress, the
media define new celebrities, or place an emphasis on the actions of
already known personalities. An example is Greta Thunberg, who has
become an icon of the climate crisis, known to the general public above
all for the importance that mass media have given to her words and
actions. Or the recent "celebrities with white coats", so called to
emphasize the social importance and media presence of medical experts in
the Covid 19 emergency.
When cases of this type appear in the media, opinion makers and
commentators usually rush to define the specificities of the celebrity
on duty, also motivating the reasons for its rapid notoriety.
Observations on his behavior are activated only randomly, following, in
fact, the very trend of the crisis, which appear suddenly, reach the
peak and then return to a stabilization logic. In other words, there
seems to be a lack of systematic reflection, which instead leads to an
analysis of the effects and consequences of the actions of celebrities
in crisis situations.
It is possible to trace two reference macro-groups: celebrities who are
born in crisis situations (and who are therefore closely connected to
them) and celebrities already known, who change their behavior during
crises. For the latter, the reflections usually seem to concern the
differences that crises determine with respect to a normal routine, due
to a change undergone with respect to the public image (for example the
breakdown of a relationship due to the betrayal of the partner) or, on
the contrary, for the realization of an 'out of the box' action, managed
and voluntarily activated (such as participation in humanitarian aid).
Some studies have been carried out in this regard, but remain liminary
for the moment, such as Ilan Kapoor's 2013 work entitled “Celebrity
Humanitarism. The ideology of global charity”which gave rise to a series
of important considerations on the role of celebrities and the meaning
of their work in crises.
Starting from these first considerations, the conference calls for the
investigation of the active role of celebrities, understood as social
phenomena, images, signs, in the culture of the crisis: in the
contemporary context, but also following a historical perspective. We
intend to examine the internal contradictions of the phenomenon of
celebrity engagement with respect to crises and we invite to study the
critical aspects of culture that they highlight. For example, public
actions of celebrities (philanthropy, militancy, product-endorsement)
aimed at offering support to crisis situations (climatic, environmental,
political-social) embrace the global principles of ecology,
national and cultural borders, but at the same time they reinforce a
geopolitically circumscribed model of personality and individualism.
The conference therefore intends to investigate the role of celebrities
in times and situations of crisis in many directions, considering this
area of reflection as a generative and culturally rich territory. The
crisis can in fact take the form of an opportunity, providing
celebrities with the possibility of transforming their social role,
which is too often rigidified within specific interpretative frameworks.
Consider the case of the article written by Giorgio Armani in March
2020, in which the designer claims the need for a slow time for fashion,
giving rise to an immediately shared public and political reflection,
far from the catwalks. Or to the many donations that Chiara Ferragni,
Fedez or Armani himself have given to healthcare facilities for the
Covid 19 emergency. These are cases in which celebrities take off their
rigid masks, to tell about themselves also according to parameters that
concern other contexts, political and cultural.
The following topics should be considered as an outline and an example,
but they do not exhaust the
- Celebrities and world crisis (general). Crisis between global and local
- World crisis as opportunity: celebrities' new roles and representations
- Celebrities and SARS-CoV-2: philanthropic messages/actions, public
- Celebrities and SARS-CoV-2: home entertainment
- Celebrities and SARS-CoV-2: figure of the ill celebrity
- Celebrities/stars and economic crisis (1929, 2008, 2020-21)
- Celebrities and Ecological crisis
- Celebrities and Terrorism
- The crisis of the celebrity (personal, career/economic) and the crisis
of cultural models.
- Changing celebrities: shifts and transformations in celebrities public
- The crisis of the celebrity connected to the crisis in the history of
- Film Stars and the concept of crisis
- Fashion celebrities/Fashion system and crisis
- The rise/fall of celebrity culture in contexts of Fashion crisis
Antonella Mascio, Roy Menarini, Sara Pesce with the collaboration of
Ylenia Caputo (University of Bologna)
Luca Barra (Università di Bologna)
Claudio Bisoni (Università di Bologna)
Giovanni Boccia Artieri (Università di Urbino)
Donatella Campus (Università di Bologna)
Giulia Anastasia Carluccio (Università di Torino)
Fabio Cleto (Università degli Studi di Bergamo)
Pamela Church Gibson (London College of Fashion, University of the Arts,
Michele Fadda (Università di Bologna)
Leonardo Gandini (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia)
Laura Gemini (Università di Urbino “Carlo Bo”)
Joke Hermes (Inholland University, NL)
Annette Hill (Lund University)
Katharina Niemeyer (University of Québec)
Catherine O’Rawe (Bristol University)
Roberta Paltrinieri (Università di Bologna)
Francesca Pasquali (Università degli Studi di Bergamo)
Eugenia Paulicelli (City University of New York)
Marco Pedroni (Università eCampus Novedrate)
Valentina Re (Università degli Studi Link Campus University)
Alberto Scandola (Università di Verona)
Federica Villa (Università di Pavia)
IoannaVovou (Panteion University, Atene)
Please submit your abstracts to (quvi.eventicelebrities /at/ unibo.it) (max.
500 words) for papers and panels, including a short biography (max. 100
words) and institutional affiliation, in English language by *10 January
The official website of the conference is
Authors will be notified by February 28, 2021.
Please make sure to also attach a short CV (max. 150 words).
After the conference, speakers are expected to send a full paper of
their speech for publication of the official proceedings, by August 31,
The Conference will take place in Rimini and Bologna on May 10-13, 2021.
Keynote speakers will be announced soon.
Conference participants are required to pay a conference fee of EUR
100,00, or EUR 80,00 if they register before April 15 at:
The conference fee is EUR 70,00 for PhD, Graduate and Undergraduate
Students of other Universities.
No conference fee for PhD, Graduate and Undergraduate Students of all
courses at the University of Bologna.
PhD New Media Studies
Department of Political and Social Sciences
University of Bologna
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