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Dear CMCS members:

It has been just over 7 days since we held Bridging Gaps: Where is the Persona in Celebrity and Journalism? at the exclusive Terrace Club across Rockefeller Centre in New York City. The 2-day conference brought together distinguished faculty, graduate students, independent scholars, and media professionals that demonstrated ground-breaking research and excellence of scholarship. The conference was filled with lively conversations, high energy, and wonderful presentations that were unique, inspiring, and promising.

Highlights of the conference can be viewed here:

The full conference program is available for download as a PDF file

We proudly announced first and second runner-up award winners in addition to the best conference paper award winner. Our NYC CMCS award winners are:

Second runner-up award winner: Rebecca Halliday.
First runner-up award winner: Elliot Pill.
Best paper award winner: Andrew Zolides.
Celebrity Chat screen award winner: Veronica Grey.

We are also thrilled to announce that
Celebrity Chat video series was launched at the NYC conference. Now you have the chance to watch the first video of the series here:

If you would like to be considered for an interview, kindly email for criteria and details.

We are in the process of selecting top papers for a prestigious edited book and new journal CrossBridge by WaterHill Publishing, so more announcements are coming up!

We are incredibly proud of our delegates who made the conference such a success. Our NYC conference ended with discussions on our 2016 conference. We are looking forward to seeing you and continuing our conversations!

Thanks to CMCS Board, ESI.CORE, and WaterHill Publishing for the successful conference series and editorial reviews. Special thanks to Routledge Taylor and Francis Group for Media and Cultural Studies and Celebrity Studies collections.

Please find below details on the latest CMCS media interview, conferences, workshops, publications, and past events. CMCS is a research network coordinating academic and media relations in media and celebrity studies. If you would like to collaborate, have new ideas, or wish to share your work with our vibrant community, let us know. Drop us a line at

We are truly proud of your contributions and looking forward to supporting the progress of your work.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Dr Samita Nandy & Dr Jackie Raphael
Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS)


Featured Highlights
Media Interview

Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) has been covered for critical views on social media and fame. Read the following magazine article “Overnight Celebrity” for the latest interview:

After-Image: Life-writing and Celebrity Conference

Registration for the **After-Image: Life-writing and Celebrity** conference (at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities and Oxford Centre for Life-Writing on Saturday, 19 September) will be closing on THIS FRIDAY, 11 September. Don't miss it! Keynotes from Andrew O'Hagan and Sarah Churchwell. ‘Historical Reevaluations of Celebrity in the 18th and 19th Centuries’ Roundtable, featuring Tom Mole (Edinburgh), Simon Morgan (Leeds Beckett), Fara Dabhoiwala (Oxford) and Jessica Goodman (Cambridge). More info here:

Media Skills Training Workshop

Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) will be offering a 3-hour media skills training workshop at the Feminist Art Conference (FAC) this September 27. For more info, visit:
Feminist Art Conference (FAC) is a Toronto-based organization that brings together artists, academics, and activists to consider feminist issues through art and dialogue at OCAD University. It is a yearly multidisciplinary feminist art conference that inspires sharing, networking & collaboration

Join us this September 23-27 for an incredible line-up of artists, speakers, and workshops.

Learn more at

To register for the conference and workshops, visit

Presentations and Publications
  • By P. David Marshall 
“The Era of Persona: The Personalization Complex, Celebrity, and our transforming public culture”, Keynote Address, “Mediated World: Sociality, Publicness and Celebrity” Summer Program, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies Graduate School, University of Tokyo, 23 July 2015. Prezi at:

“We need to Talk about Ted: Understanding Popular Intellectual Culture”, presented at the The New Popularizing Knowledge Matrix Symposium, Deakin University, Melbourne City Campus, 31 July 2015. Prezi available at:

 “Monitoring Persona: mediatized identity and the edited public self”, Frame: Journal of Literary Studies. 28.1 May 2015: 115-133

“Persona as Method: exploring celebrity and the public self through persona studies” in Celebrity Studies 6:2 July- August 2015 (with Kim Barbour and Chris Moore), 1-18 Online first; Available at:

“Situating Public Intellectuals” – Co-authored with Cassandra Atherton MIA  July-August, 2015

“Understanding the emerging contemporary public intellectual: online academic persona and the Conversation”, Media International Australia (MIA) July-August, 2015

  • By Shelley Cobb (Southampton) and Neil Ewen (Winchester)
First Comes Love: Power Couples, Celebrity Kinship and Cultural Politics, eds. Shelley Cobb (Southampton) and Neil Ewen (Winchester)

With the prominence of one-name couples (Brangelina, Kimye) and famous families (the Smiths, the Beckhams), it is becoming increasingly clear that celebrity is no longer an individual pursuit-if it ever was. Accordingly, First Comes Love explores celebrity kinship and the phenomenon of the power couple: those relationships where two stars come together and where their individual identities as celebrities become inseparable from their status as a famous twosome.

Taken together, the chapters in this volume interrogate the ways these alliances are bound up in wider cultural debates about marriage, love, intimacy, family, parenthood, sexuality, and gender, in their particular historical contexts, from the 1920s to the present day. Interdisciplinary in scope, First Comes Love seeks to establish how celebrity relationships play particular roles in dramatizing, disrupting, and reconciling often contradictory ideas about coupledom and kinship formations.

The hardback and paperback versions are on sale with 10% off on the Bloomsbury Academic UK site:

At checkout enter GLR DB7 for an additional 20% off!

Table of Contents:

Introduction Shelley Cobb, University of Southampton, UK, and Neil Ewen, University of Winchester, UK

I. Golden Couples

Introduction – Shelley Cobb, University of Southampton, UK, and Neil Ewen, University of Winchester, UK

‘Gilbo-Garbage’ or ‘The Champion Lovemakers of Two Nations’: Uncoupling Greta Garbo and John Gilbert – Michael Williams, University of Southampton, UK

‘The Most Envied Couple in America in 1921’: Making the Social Register in the Scrapbooks of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald – Sarah Churchwell, University of East Anglia, UK

‘Good Fellowship’: Carole Lombard and Clark Gable – Michael Hammond, University of Southampton, UK

II. Kinships

Introduction – Shelley Cobb, University of Southampton, UK, and Neil Ewen, University of Winchester, UK

Filial Coupling, the Incest Narrative, and the O’Neals – Maria Pramaggiore, Maynooth University,Ireland

A Star is Born?: Rishi Kapoor and Dynastic Charisma in Hindi Cinema – Rachel Dwyer, SOAS, University of London, UK

Eddie Murphy’s Baby Mama Drama and Smith Family Values: The (Post-) Racial Familial Politics of Hollywood Celebrity Couples – Hannah Hamad, King’s College London, UK

Momager of the Brides: Kris Jenner’s Management of Kardashian Romance – Alice Leppert, Ursinus College, USA

III. Marriage

Introduction – Shelley Cobb, University of Southampton, UK, and Neil Ewen, University of Winchester, UK

Diana’s Rings: Fetishizing The Royal Couple – Margaret Schwartz, Fordham University, USA

Behind Every Great Woman…?: Celebrity, Political Leadership, and the Privileging of Marriage – Anthea Taylor, University of Queensland, Australia

It’s the Thought That Counts: North Korea’s Glocalization of the Celebrity Couple and the Mediated Politics of Reform – David Zeglen, George Mason University, USA

Ellen and Portia’s Wedding: The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage and Celesbianism – Shelley Cobb, University of Southampton, UK

Audrey Hollander and Otto Bauer: The Perfect (Pornographic) Marriage? – Beccy Collings, University of East Anglia, UK

IV. Love

Introduction – Shelley Cobb, University of Southampton, UK, and Neil Ewen, University of Winchester, UK

The Return of Liz and Dick – Suzanne Leonard, Simmons College, USA

‘Brad & Angelina: And Now . . . Brangelina!’: A Sociocultural Analysis of Blended

Celebrity Couple Names – Vanessa Diaz, University of Michigan, USA

Jane Fonda, Power Nuptials, and the Project of Aging – Linda Ruth Williams, University of Southampton, UK

The Making, Unmaking and Re-Making of ‘Robsten’ – Diane Negra, University College Dublin

The Good, the Bad, and the Broken: Forms and Functions of Neoliberal Celebrity Relationships – Neil Ewen, University of Winchester, UK

“First Comes Love is one of the very finest edited collections that I have had the pleasure of reading. Its examination of celebrity couples is complex, diverse, provocative and challenging. Whether this be an examination of golden couple Brangelina, or the undressing of the gilded garments of Garbo and Gilbert, the book traverses the way celebrity couples are engaged with historically, textually, and globally. Each chapter is a critical delight, the footprints immaculately chosen, and the arguments and illustrations intricate and delicate in equal measure. Beautiful.” – Sean Redmond, Associate Professor of Media and Communication, Deakin University, Australia.

“From Lombard and Gable to Brangelina and the Kardashian clan, power couples and famous families have occupied public attention while until now mostly evading analytical scrutiny. In First Comes Love, Shelley Cobb and Neil Ewen-or, as they may soon be known, Sheneil-bring together a sharp, lively crew of scholars, whose smart takes on celebrity couples and kin, and on topics ranging from racial politics and same-sex marriage to aging and neoliberalism, open new pathways in celebrity studies.” – Joshua Gamson, Professor of Sociology, University of San Francisco, USA, and author of Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America

Past conferences:

Bridging Gaps: Where is the Persona in Celebrity and Journalism?

Oberto Conference: 2015: Opera and Celebrity 

The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) is an international organization and research network that helps coordinating academic research and media commentaries on celebrity culture. CMCS carries a pedagogical philosophy that inspires integration of high quality research and media skills training in academic and public discourses of fame.  The centre believes in intellectual, aesthetic, and ethical values of bridging gaps in higher education and media industry.  Using the critical lens of celebrity studies , CMCS helps coordinating research, publications, productions, and commentaries to mobilize informed opinions in media.




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