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 We are pleased to announce professors Andrew Zolides, Basuli Deb, and Alex Symons as the keynote speakers for the 2019 CMCS conference in New York City. Best presented papers will be published in the Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies @IntellectBooks. University library/individual subscription options are below.

Extended abstract deadline: March 18. 2019

NYC 2019 CMCS 8th International Conference
Bridging Gaps: Re-Fashioning Stories for Celebrity Counterpublics

Terrace Club at Club Quarters
25 W 51st St, across NBC &Rockefellar Centre
New York City, USA
Friday, August 30 – Sunday, September 1, 2019

Keynote Speakers:

Dr Andrew Zolides
Communication and Media, Xavier University, USA

Dr Basuli Deb
English and Gender Studies, Rutgers University and CUNY, USA

Dr Alex Symons
Fashion Media, LIMS College, USA

 Call for Papers:
In the recent past, there has been an increased interest in exploring intersections of life writing and studies of celebrity culture. Storytelling is central to effective branding in fame. Furthermore, the use of biographical elements has been recognized as a rhetorical device in writing op-eds, personal essays, and public speaking that often raise awareness on critical issues in popular media. Biography, as Lola Romanucci-Ross points out, is mainly a useful symbolic tool for reflecting, rotating and reversing real-life situations. Like biography, autobiography, memoirs, and testimonials play crucial roles in mapping social facts.
The impacts of glamorous forms of storytelling in scandals, gossip, and rumor become so crucial that they are often studied as sociological data, regardless of whether they enable actual social change. For pop culture enthusiasts and social observers, celebrities may or may not be actual role models in telling meaningful stories and constructing subjectivity. Yet, fans and students often invest affective and intellectual labor when it comes to accepting, negotiating or contesting what appears to be significant in understandings of popular figures. Celebrity scholars are equally familiar with the complexities of engaging with and researching “glossy topics”. As Sean Redmond (2014) has shown, acknowledging one’s own celebrity attachments can produce innovative ways of (re)writing fame. Conversely, these first-person accounts may also contribute to the 
celebritisation of individual academics. What is the critical and pedagogical potential of personal takes on fame within the field of celebrity studies?
Celebrity narratives are perceived to have real power whether or not celebrities are “important” people in the academic or moral sense. Drawing on current affairs, celebrity politicians have used personal claims and outrageous stories to push political agendas in divisive ways. Many other famous personas use extravagant fashion as expressions of their luxurious lives and build 
persona brands at the cost of ethics. For Elizabeth Wissinger, the “glamour labor” involved in self-fashioning, surveillance, and branding is often an inevitable and unfortunate outcome in the production of consumer values and desirable bodies in fashion industries. Public personas still self-fashion themselves and promote their brand by extending text(ures) of language that sells to consumer tastes. However, the challenge remains to sell the values of social justice. Can public intellectuals learn narrative strategies from celebrity storytelling and fill this gap
What appears to be a shared reason behind the success of most popular narratives, verbal (including oral) and non-verbal, is a persuasive ‘strategy’ to effectively tell life stories. If studying celebrity 
biographies / autobiographies, best-selling memoirs, and other popular forms of life-writings and self-expressions carry cultural worth, then biographical elements of rising and celebrated public intellectuals, academics, critics, and activists are equally important to consider in disciplinary and interdisciplinary practices and understanding of fame. For instance, real-life first-hand accounts, such as testimonies and visual evidence, together with literary/artistic representations of gendered oppression provide meaning for progressive thinking and practice. Anecdotal accounts of famous sports personalities, actors, best-selling authors, and top models among other public figures are often useful rhetorical tools that help us to understand popular culture better. With this in mind, we need to extend popular storytelling beyond celebrity culture and persona branding, and use it to empower social change in academia, politics, and other spheres.
The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) Bridging Gaps conference series, with the support of Intellect Books, uses a reflective practice paradigm and asks an urgent question: Can we learn popular strategies and re-fashion celebrity stories into tools for public intellectualism and social transformation, in addition to studying them? What enables or disables the public to tell personal stories in studies and practices of celebrity culture? Can different forms of storytelling from the lives of rising and celebrated academics, public intellectuals, critics, and activists enable urgent social change? The conference problematizes what it means to be a popular “storyteller” and invites all academics, journalists, publicists, activists and models and guests to attend, collaborate and publish valuable and purposeful work around this key question and related topics in our conference.
The format of the conference aims at being open and inclusive of interdisciplinary academic scholars and practitioners involved in all areas of celebrity culture, fandom, fashion, and journalism.  The conference combines paper presentations, workshop panels, roundtables, slideshows, and interviews that aim to bridge gaps in celebrity activism, 
persona branding, and fashion education. Working papers, media productions, and personal stories will be considered for the conference.
Extended versions of selected best papers will be published in an edited collection.
includes: Your printed package for the complete conference, professional development workshop, access to reception, all-day coffee, complimentary evening drink, consideration for publication, and the CMCS $100 best paper and $100 best screen awards.
Abstract Submission Guidelines:
•    250-word abstract or 
workshop / roundtable proposal
•    Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if applicable
•    Submit abstract at
      Extended deadline March 18, 2019
•    Notification of acceptance: March 31, 2019
•    Early bird deadline for hotel & conference registration: April 30, 2019
•    Conference reception & presentations: Friday, August 30 – Sunday, September 1, 2019

Celebrity Chat video Submissions Guidelines:

•    Video length should be 10-20 minutes
•    Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if applicable
•    Submit to Celebrity Chat producer Jackie Raphael at the email 
•    Conference reception and presentations: August 30 –September 1, 2019
Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Celebrity
  • Fandom
  • Audience
  • Persona
  • Life Writings
  • Oral storytelling
  • Fiction
  • Fashion
  • Photography
  • Performance
  • Publicity
  • News
  • Interviews
  • Social Media
  • Film and video
  • Theory and Methods
  • Research Agenda
  • Business Models
  • Ethics and Morality
  • Human, Animal and Environental Ethics
  • Media Literacy
  • Education and Advocacy
  • International Relations
  • Community Building and Partnerships
Conference Chair: Dr Samita Nandy
Conference Committee: Dr Jackie Raphael, Kiera Obbard, Sabrina Moro, and Diana Miller
Conference URL:
Conference Twitter @celeb_studies #CMCS19

Special Acknowledgements:

Intellect Books @IntellectBooks
Half Price for University Library / Personal Journal Subscription 

Print only*: £22 / $39 USD 
(Full price: £44 / $78 USD)

Please contact Turpin Distribution, quoting ‘HALF PRICE PC’:


DrSpecial thanks to CMCS board members Dr Nicole Bojko & Jarret Ruminski, author of The Limits of Loyalty: Ordinary People in Civil War Mississippi @TheDevilHistory 

Conference Sponsors:

Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies
Centre for Ecological, Social & Informatics Cognitive Research


References and Featured Publications:

Celebrity Studies 

Becoming Brands: Celebrity, Activism and Politics

Building Bridges in Celebrity Studies 

Celebrity & The Media

A Companion to Celebrity

Personas and Places

Fame in Hollywood North 


Bridging Gaps: Higher Education, Media and Society
Teaching Compassion

Media Experts

Prof. P. David Marshall

Dr Anita Krajnc
Dr Louis Massey 
Dr Samita Nandy
Dr. Basuli Deb

Dr Jackie Raphael 

Dr Celia Lam 
Dr Ian Dixon
Dr Jacque Lynn Foltyn
 Douglas Machado
Dr Nandana Bose
Dr Mira Moshe
 Hilary Wheaton
Shannon Skinner

Sutikshya Mallick

Founder & Director

 Samita Nandy 

Advisory Board

Dr Anita Krajnc
Dr Samita Nandy
Dr Jackie Raphael 
Dr Celia Lam
Dr William Huddy
Dr Frank Wilson
Dr Nicole Bojko
Dr Basuli Deb
Dr Hilary Wheaton
Dr Mira Moshe
Dr Yaya Mori

Editorial Board

Dr Robert Caine
Dr Hilary Wheaton
Dr Jarret Ruminski
Dr Will Visconti 

Kiera Obbard
Georgia Hertz
Christine Bode
Copyright © 2019
Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS)
All rights reserved.

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