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American Culture Studies

Film Stardom, Performance, and Fan Culture

American Culture Studies 422A - Spring 2020

This seminar course focuses on movie stars, the system that produces them and the fans that "consume" them. We will explore stars in relation to celebrity and consumerism, industrial imperatives and cultural fantasies. While we will consider stardom within the notion of celebrity writ large, we will focus on how movie stardom was perfected by an American-based system that sought to market films globally. In addition to studying the relationship of stars to their audiences, we will examine the performance and visual elements of stars in films including acting styles, camera and lighting techniques, and costuming, and the relationship of these to broader issues such as genre, film style, narrative conventions and technology. We will also consider publicity and promotion including glamour portraiture, posters, and fan magazines in the studio system era and in the contemporary era: social media, the internet, and product branding. We will read theoretical and historical texts that consider how stardom intersects with gender representation, race, ideology, sexuality, age, nationality, and other points of interest in film and cultural studies. Emphasis will be placed on mainstream commercial, U.S. cinema, but students are encouraged to pursue questions beyond this framework within their own research. REQUIRED SCREENING: Mondays @ 7pm

Section 01

Film Stardom, Performance, and Fan Culture
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