You've found the course blog for CTCS 412: Stars and Celebrity, Spring 2016. We'll use this site to respond to course materials, discuss celebrity culture, and share links and images relevant to the course.
From talk shows to the internet to The Enquirer to the countless star biographies scattered across cable and bookstores, fascination with celebrities permeates our culture. We can all name favorite stars, and our desire to learn more about them can fuel our engagements with popular media. Throughout the twentieth century, much of the popular writing on cinema has consisted of star biographies and tell-all memoirs, but scholarly investigations of the star are more recent. This course revolves around a critical investigation of the role of the star in historical and contemporary U.S. culture. In an attempt to analyze the star phenomenon, this class will focus on the role of the star within the ‘machinery’ of cinema – the ways in which stars function in the entertainment industry, within cinematic and extra-cinematic texts, and at the level of individual fantasy and desire. We will pay special attention to the ways in which celebrity impacts cultural attitudes about race, gender, sexuality, and class.