Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, University of Salford, UK
Natasha Patterson, University of Northern British Columbia, Canada
Camilla A. Sears, Thompson Rivers University, Canada
For this special issue of Celebrity Studies, the editors are seeking proposals on the topic of feminism and celebrity culture. In recent years, contemporary celebrity culture has broached the topic of feminism, and increasingly, celebrities – men and women – are expected to make very public subscriptions to or rejections of a feminist identity. For instance, popular magazines like Cosmopolitan, provides “A Handy Guide to Celebrity Feminists” – and ask questions like, Where do our favourite celebrities stand on feminism? Without question, celebrity culture has become an important site for the production of meaning or understanding about feminism, especially in light of the commonly held belief that the struggles of the feminist movement – gender equality, equal pay, and so on – have been achieved, rendering it outdated or not in tune with the concerns of young women in contemporary society. In this way, the concept of “postfeminism” has been a useful tool for thinking about how feminism is framed within popular culture. Yet, these ongoing debates about what feminism is, or is not, or who can claim membership, as writ large in celebrity culture and through celebrities, clearly demonstrates that the movement still carries importance and resonates with audiences. And in such a way, it seems key for scholars to attend to the question, what does feminism look like in this culture?
While we welcome proposals that attend to these issues from a Western perspective, our goal for this special issue is to reflect a diverse array of perspectives in terms of content and location. Therefore, this special issue aims to explore discursive struggles over the meaning of feminism and celebrity culture in both Western and non-Western contexts.
Suggested paper topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Thinking beyond Western borders – what can studies of celebrities cross-culturally, tell us about the state of feminism globally?
• How do feminist theories/frameworks help us to understand or critically interrogate celebrity culture? What inequalities or power dynamics invite feminist critiques of celebrity culture?
• The concept of (white) celebrity feminism and how this idea has gained ground globally via social media, particularly through the politics of the feminist celebrity philanthropist (e.g. #HeforShe/Emma Watson).
• The relationship between surveillance culture and female celebrities; the policing of public figures
• The rise of “ordinary” celebrities through the global circulation of reality TV formats and social media such as “localebrities” or “micro-celebrities”
• Intersectional analyses of celebrity feminists/feminism
• The rise of the “male celebrity feminist”
• How does celebrity and sexuality intersect globally? Explore the rising fame and star quality of female actors within the adult pornographic genre – and their connections to a feminist identity
Interested authors should send a 500 word proposal and 200-word biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2016. Please direct general enquiries to this email address as well. Acceptance notices will be sent out by February 15 2015. For accepted proposals, completed essays of 6000-8000 words will be due no later than June 1, 2016. Final publication of the special issue is expected late 2017. Only previously unpublished essays will be considered.