CGWS Summer School Notes – Introducing Feminist Celebrity Studies – Dr. Kate McNicholas Smith

IMG_0777Kicking off the summer school with a really nice potted history of celebrity feminist studies. Mostly stuff I knew but nice to have a refresher and get back to the basics. Was also useful for me to think about the history of feminist media studies in a linear sense. My thoughts in purple italics, things to do/read in red italics.

  • 1972- NoW Report on gender representation in TV adverts
  • Miss World protests
  • Porn Wars
    • Andrea Dworkin’s definition of objectification – re-read this
    • Is it still useful today in the context of selfies and ‘self-objectification’?
  • Laura Mulvey – visual pleasure and the male gaze
    • The gaze is constructed in three key ways
      • Via the camera and the shots
      • Via the interaction between subjects
      • Via the viewer
    • Link with psychoanalysis and the gaze as linked with anxiety around castration
  • 1964-2002 Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (BCCCS)
    • Combining approaches from literary analysis, sociology, film studies, anthropology, history
    • Stuart Hall – enconding and decoding – revisit
    • Maureen McNeill, Jackie Stacey (Star Gazing), Angela McRobbie
  • 1980s/90s Audience Studies
    • Audiences as ‘active’
  • Fandom theory
    • Henry Jenkins
    • Lisa Lewis
  • The Sex Wars
  • Off our backs vs On our backs magazines
  • 1982 – bell hooks’ Ain’t I a Woman?
  • Patricia Hill collins’ – Black feminist thought
  • 1991- Kimberle Crenshaw’s Mapping the Margins
  • 1990 – Judith Butler’s Gender Troubles
    • How do we understand the category of ‘woman’?
  • 1991- Susan Faludi’s Backlash
    • Context today of MRAs and rise of ‘alt right’?
  • Laurie Ouellette
  • 1998 – Time Magazine ‘Is Feminism Dead?’
  • 2004 – Angela McRobbie – Post Feminism
    • Complexification of the backlash
  • Obituary for post feminism
  • Feminist resurgence in popular culture
    • Beyonce’s Feminist Stage – undermines post-feminism
  • Ros Gill recent articles
  • New cultural trends do not immediate displace old ones
  • What is going on NOW?
  • Stars
    • Gossip, power and culture of celebrity – Walter Winchell autobiographhy by Neal Gabler
  • 1970s Star Studies
    • Richard Dyer’s ‘Stars’
      • The ‘star text’ – the construct which emerges from promotions, publicity, films and criticisms
    • Star texts – relate to social types of society
    • Ideological functions for belonging/ fantasising
    • Paradoxical stars – must appear simultaneously ‘like us’ but also ‘special’
  • 2004 Graeme Turner – celebrity as a type of media
  • Redmond – stars and whiteness
  • Bodies as sites of struggles
    • In relation to selfies?

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