Special Topics in Film: Stardom and Cinema
135T | CCN: 24321
Instructor: Eileen Jones
In her introduction to the book-length collection of essays entitled Stardom: Industry of Desire, Christine Gledhill describes the complex role of media stars “in the production, circulation, and negotiation of meanings, identities, desires and ideologies” that we will be examining in this course:
The star challenges analysis in the way it crosses disciplinary boundaries: a product of mass culture, but retaining theatrical concerns with acting, performance, and art; an individual marketing device, but a signifying element in films; a social sign, carrying cultural meanings and ideological values, which expresses the intimacies of individual personality, inviting desire and identification; an emblem of national celebrity, founded on the body, fashion, and personal style; a product of capitalism and the ideology of individualism, yet a site of contest by marginalized groups; a figure consumed for his or her personal life, who competes for allegiance with statesmen and politicians.
There will be a lot of reading, writing, film viewing, and discussion in this course. Attendance is a must!