One of the most intriguing elements of the study of celebrity is the complex relationship between the renowned individuals that have celebrity status and the populace. In past work, I have identified how celebrities “embody” audiences producing a kind of audience-subjectivity that is both collective and individual. If our media systems are producing slightly different collective configurations and quite different ways in which individuals exhibit and share, this relationship between the individual and the collective so foregrounded by celebrity culture may be differently constituted. This presentation will look at how the celebration of the self is played out now across culture in variations of the social and para-social structures of celebrity culture, in professional settings and what would be seen as forms of online leisure and recreational activities. In one sense, this is the spectre of celebrity that has now been virtualised by individuals and their forms of public display. In another sense, we now have a very diverse range and spectrum of public personalities which demands a more extensive analysis of the constitution of public persona, where the embodiment of collectives and the articulation of identity forms for different purposes and objectives produce via a series of micro-publics a substantially different public sphere.
Keynote Address, Celebrity Now – Celebrity Studies Inaugural Biennial International Conference, Deakin University, Burwood (Melbourne), 14 December, 2012.
Field of Research
200204 Cultural Theory 200102 Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies