Comunicação & Cultura journal (Catholic University of Portugal)
Call for Papers. Theme: Fans and Celebrities. Coordination: Rogério Santos. Number: 12. Delivery deadline for original articles: April 30th, 2011.
Since the beginning of the 20th century and with greater incidence in the transition to this century, media outlets have dedicated increasing coverage to stars and celebrities, portraying them as if contemporary heroes, endowed with charm and models to their followers. The mass media, photography, cinema and television have brought the lives of stars and celebrities into the public domain. There is a type of vicious circle ongoing: stars, personalities and celebrities need the media to keep them famous, even to the extent of the revelation of scandals. The media, in the case of magazines and television programs, report on the latter to gain audiences.
Frequently, this extends to the point of the violation of privacy as in the case of the paparazzi – photographers seeking to obtain unauthorised pictures of such notables and blurring the border between public and social actions and the notion of private life for the famous. The stars themselves emerge out of the worlds of show business, such as cinema, television, music, sport and politics. Names such as Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Britney Spears, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tony Blair and Barack Obama trigger passions and extremes, hogging magazine covers and featured in advertising campaigns, with everything they say, do and adorn commented upon.
How is this expanding universe of stars and celebrities and their corresponding fans established and nurtured? On the one hand, the media, as part and parcel of the massification and democratisation of the current world, stage the opportunity for ever more “normal” individuals to aspire to celebrity and not out of the work of years but some condition or event that sets them apart from other individuals enabling the media to feed off them. Sometimes they may merely serve as idols for a week or a season, such as on Big Brother or the various versions of Idol. On other hand, the growing number of celebrities whose only value is their appearance at parties attended by others of their ilk, suggests a society in cultural decline.
In terms of the fans, sociology identifies two models, one behavioural (pathological fixation by those imagining a shared life with the respective hero), another creative and outreaching: producing semiotic texts (John Fiske), participative culture (Henry Jenkins), imagined communities (Benedict Anderson).
The forthcoming journal edition seeks theoretical and practical contributions on, among others, the following topics:
• Stars and the media,
• Associated professions, such as public relations, event managers, marketing,
• Celebrity and gossip magazines and television,
• Stars and daily culture,
• Celebrities from the worlds of football, television and music,
• The mercantilization of performance and sport,
• Fans and the productivity of fans,
• Fans and social networks,
• Celebrities and politics.
• All articles meeting the editorial requirements and standards of Comunicação & Cultura are submitted for double blind refereeing in which the identity of both the reviewer and author are concealed from both parties.
• Articles submitted for publication must be 1.5 spaced throughout and should not exceed the word limit of 40.000 characters, including notes and references, an abstract of 100-150 words and six keywords.
• Please send as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. A separate cover sheet should be provided giving postal and email addresses, and telephone numbers.