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Celebrity Culture and Social Inquiry 
49th Edition
Media Experts

Prof. P. David Marshall
Dr Anita Krajnc
Dr Louis Massey 
Dr Samita Nandy
Dr Jackie Raphael 
Dr Celia Lam

Dr. Basuli Deb
Dr Hilary Wheaton
Dr Mira Moshe
Dr Nandana Bose
Dr Will Visconti
Josh Nathan
Shannon Skinner 

Advisory Board

Dr Anita Krajnc
Dr Louis Massey
Dr Samita Nandy
Dr Jackie Raphael 
Dr Celia Lam
Dr Frank Wilson
Dr Nicole Bojko
Dr Basuli Deb
Dr Hilary Wheaton
Dr Mira Moshe
Dr Yaya Mori
Tushar Unadkat
Ravi Kumar

Editorial Board

Dr Robert Caine
Dr Hilary Wheaton
Dr Jarret Ruminski
Dr Nalini Mohabir
Dr Will Visconti 
Nidhi Shrivastava
Kiera Obbard
Christine Bode

Communication Manager

Dr Louis Massey

Founding Director

Dr Samita Nandy

Featured Publications

Celebrity Studies

Building Bridges in Celebrity Studies

Celebrity & The Media

A Companion to Celebrity

Becoming Brands: Celebrity, Activism and Politics

Fame in Hollywood North


Bridging Gaps: Higher Education, Media and Society




I hope you had a lovely start to July.

We are pleased to announce that the sixth CMCS conference will be held in Perth, Australia on December 8-10, 2017. We welcome Sean Redmond as the conference keynote speaker.  Special thanks to the chairs Jackie Raphael and Celia Lam, and committee members Kirsty Fairclough, Bertha Chin and Bethan Jones.
We also welcome Frank Wilson from Indiana State University as our latest CMCS Advisory Board Member. In other news, CMCS Director Samita Nandy has been covered for celebrity activism and animal rights in Brazil. Furthermore, CMCS is proud to support the Game of Thrones Research Project created and self-funded by a network of researchers in 12 countries, who are aiming to explore the pleasures, pains and meanings of this HBO’s famous TV show.
Our NYC conference chairs are looking forward to meeting CMCS delegates and members at the CUNY School of Journalism from August 31st to September 1st.  Please see the press release along with our latest Calls for Papers and media coverage below. Highlights of our latest conversations and posts are available here:

Louis Massey
Advisory Board Member & Communication Manager
Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS)


Bridging Gaps:
National Identity in Persona, Branding, and Activism

University of Western Australia
Perth, Australia
December 8-10, 2017

Keynote Speaker Sean Redmond
Opening Talk David Bowie: Starring in Cameo


With the rise of Web 2.0, people brand themselves through social media as a singular person. The online visibility of their brand often takes precedence over social contributions. Their online presentation, however, is a reflection of how they want to be perceived in a collective setting. How does this kind of branding differ to a local business service or an international celebrity who also brands themselves online? What impact is persona branding having on society and the way people view themselves?

A focus on the persona of activists shows the particular impact of branding in society. An activist’s voice, like that of a political leader, is often heard if they have a strong brand. Yet, the perception is often specific to their national contexts. How are socialist actions in North Korea viewed in the Western world? How does having a female political leader change the perception of a country? How are immigrants seen around the world? What role does media play in creating these constructed views in national and transnational contexts?

We encourage scholars and industry practitioners to question, explore, and problematize the notion of national identity in persona, branding, and activism. We ask: how is a country reflected through its celebrities, popular history, stereotypes and myths? Often one individual can have global fame, which can result in branding a nation or city and develop a country’s cause as well. Their persona becomes the basis of how a place is perceived internationally. For example, American born icon Elvis Presley is used to represent Las Vegas and Memphis, while George Clooney has attached himself to Darfur through his activism. Similarly, Steve Irwin became a symbol of Australian culture through his philanthropy and his fame as “The Crocodile Hunter.” A decade since his death people still create the association between him and the nation’s identity, while overlooking how race, gender and class affect one’s overall brand identity. Myths surrounding national identity are also evident in beauty pageants and the Olympics. How do these stereotypes affect our understanding of culture?

The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) Bridging Gaps conference, in association with sponsors Centre for Ecological, Social, and Informatics Cognitive Research (ESI.CORE) and WaterHill Publishing, invites papers and films that explore the relationship among four key themes – persona, branding, activism, and national identity. We invite academics, filmmakers, journalists, publicists, designers, advertisers, marketing specialists, charity organizers, and guests to explore and connect themes from a range of interdisciplinary fields and generate a valuable discussion and practice that will inspire change.

Attendees may present papers, take part in a workshop or create a roundtable discussion on the themes of persona, branding, activism and national identity. We recommend roundtables on Heath Ledger but open to discussions on other stars in national contexts of Australia and abroad.

Extended versions of selected papers will be published in an edited book by WaterHill Publishing, while others will be invited for the opportunity to publish work in the CrossBridge journal.

We also invite people to send in videos for the Celebrity Chat Award. The idea for Celebrity Chat was born in Melbourne and the first recording took place in Perth. We are proud to be bringing it back home. The best video/documentary will be selected based on its ability to draw attention to a significant matter, be relevant to the conference theme and/or inspire change.

Registration includes: Your printed conference package, catered lunch, coffee / tea breaks, evening drinks, professional development workshop, access to evening receptions, eligibility to publish in edited book, and consideration for the $100 best paper and screen awards.

Submission guidelines:

  • 250-word abstract or workshop / roundtable proposal
  • Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if applicable
  • Submit to conference Chairs Jackie Raphael and Celia Lam at email address:
  • Deadline for abstract submission: July 28, 2017
  • Notification of acceptance: August 25, 2017
  • Full text due: November 1, 2017
  • Pre-Conference reception: December 8, 2017
  • Conference presentations: December 9-10, 2017
  • Publication of edited book: 2018
Celebrity Chat Video Submissions:
  • Video length should be 10-20 minutes
  • Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if applicable
  • Submit to conference Chairs Jackie Raphael and Celia Lam at email address:
  • Deadline for submission: August 1, 2017
  • Notification of acceptance: September 15, 201
  • Conference screening: December 9-10, 2017
Topics include but are not limited to:
  • National Identity and Persona
  • Activism and Philanthropy
  • Fandom and Audiences
  • Endorsements and Advertising
  • Branding and Graphic Design
  • Tourism and Promotion
  • Politics and Leadership
  • Persona and Online Presence
  • Mass Media and Social Media
  • Public Relations and Publicity
  • Journalism and Newsworthy Topics
  • Fame and Fortune
  • Gender and Power
  • Icons and Status
  • Beauty Ideals, Pageants and Culture
  • Models as Role Models
  • Olympics and Representing Nations
  • Sporting Identities
  • Literature and Photography
  • Film and Television
  • Laws and Policies
  • Theory and Methods
  • Research Agenda and Business Models
  • Ethics and Morality
  • Cognition and Memory
  • Social Innovation and Change
  • Education and Advocacy
  • Community Building and Community Partnerships

Chairs: Jackie Raphael and Celia Lam
Committee: Kirsty Fairclough, Bertha Chin and Bethan Jones

CMCS Advisory Board – Frank Wilson
Areas: Media & Popular Culture, Movies, Television, Police, Crime

Frank Wilson’s research and publication interests include the depiction of municipal police officers in the media and its impact on recruitment, retention, and public perceptions.   Most recent media research has focused on the depiction of key issues such as race, gender and sexuality surrounding the depiction of police use of force and victimization.  His writings integrate theories and techniques from Criminology, Communications and History. He is the editor and author or Crime and Media Studies: Diversity of Method, Medium and Communication which is designed to teach students to covert peer reviewed research findings into Blogs and Press Releases.  He was the founder and chair of the Annual International Crime, Media and Popular Culture Studies Conference from 2008 to 2014.  He was invited to be the revival editor of the Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture.  His crime and media research has resulted in him being invited to be the program chair of the Media and Crime section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Conference, the keynote speaker for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Annual Meeting, and becoming a Huffington Post blogger.   

Additionally, Wilson is currently researching and writing a book on the largest prison cemetery in the United States.  Other areas of research and publication interests include Race & Socioeconomic Class Issues, Public & Prison Health Issues, Death Penalty Issues and The History of Island Prisons. His research has been published in leading journals such as The Prison Journal, Women & Criminal Justice, Race & Justice, and the Journal of Crime Justice and Popular Culture.  Additionally, his research has been featured in numerous news outlets including the New York Times, Pittsburg Gazette, Houston Chronicle, and U.S. Catholic.

Media Coverage

CMCS Director Samita Nandy has been covered for her views on celebrity activism and animal rights in Brazil:

For non-Portuguese readers, here is the English version of the interview:   

Game of Thrones Research Project

The Game of Thrones Research Project is an ambitious audience research project, created and self-funded by a network of researchers in 12 countries, who are aiming to explore the pleasures, pains and meanings that HBO’s Game of Thrones has for all kinds of audiences: general followers, fans, and critics. For this reason, they have mounted an online survey at

Some of the researchers involved have worked in similar projects which examined the meaning and the role of fantasy in global audiences (
The Lord of The Rings Project, The World Hobbit Project, The World Star Wars Project). The Game of Thrones Research Project follows in the footsteps of these projects, and seeks to understand the impact and the significance of this major cultural phenomenon in the lives of its audiences.

So far more than 9,000 people have completed the survey. But the researchers are seeking to attract more responses. Therefore, they invite everyone who has or had an interest in Game of Thrones to participate in the survey at And then, help in spreading the word about the Project by sharing the survey link to their friends, family, colleagues in their social media, blogs, or the online communities and groups they are part of.  

The survey will remain open until just after the end of Season 7, which premieres next month. All the results and findings of the project will be made publicly available to anyone interested. It should be noted that the Project is not connected with HBO or George R. R. Martin in any way.

More information about the Game of Thrones Research Project can be found
here. For any further questions contact the Project’s Principal Investigator, Professor Martin Barker (at 



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