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Lecture 2

Women's Studies 2161A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Eastern Cape, Nell Shipman, Photoplay


Department
Women's Studies
Course Code
Women's Studies 2161A/B
Professor
Prof
Lecture
2

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WS Lecture 2
contemporary culture embraces several diff types of celebrity
chis rojek suggests that we can think of 3 main types of celebrity:
1. Ascribed celebrity- fame as a result of heredity ex: king or queen..be born to
the right parents
ex: Prince William, Paris Hilton
2. Achieved celebrity - derived from accomplishments in open competition
(athetes, film stars, politicians)
ex: Husain Bolt, Oprah, JK Rowling, Baraqe Obama
3. Attributed celebrity -ppl who are famous for being famous
ex: Kardashians, Honey BooBoo, Rob Ford?
these categories are not absolute
Gendering Celebrity
-If you type celebrity into google image, you get primarily female actors, singers etc
Google suggest you may also want to search “celebrities with no clothes”-if u do, the
men almost entirely disappear. If you specify male, the results are almost all clothed
-what does this suggest about our cultural attitudes toward female celebrities?
wanted for their bodies, not for what they’ve actually achieved.
women achieve celebrity for are not necessarily the same as male achieved celebrity.
Technologies of celebrity:
Promotion:
-Internet-studio sites, star sites, fan sites, social networking (esp Twitter)
-TV-eg eTalk Daily, but also news and talk shows, reality TV
-Film-trailers, ads, etc
-radio-interviews, news, film reviews
-Magazines and newspapers-People, US, etc.
-film and bideo
-photography (paparazzi)
-photo editing eg photoshop- ex: changing colour of skin tone, bodies slimmer.
star system- from PAs to publicists.
Photoshop can also be used negatively...OJ Simpson photoshopped to be much darker
than his actual skin colour. Has racist stereotypes as black men being more aggressive.
Political motivations; asserting a criminality to him.
Australian politicians used a photoshop to denounce image of refugee
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The Importance of Celebrity
-while its difficult to judgee the effects of clbrty culture on ppls lives, some studies show
that the majority of school kids think that anyone can be famous.
“60% of pupils aspired to be a pop star or sports star,while 1/3 aspired to be a film star,
model, or anythign as long as they are famous
REALITY TV -gives rise to ppl being famous for being famous.
ex: Jane Goody: fame or infamy? famous for making racist comments, died of cervical
cancer.
Historical Celebrity Culture
-By the early 1800s, there was already some evidence of a burgeoning celebrity culture.
-British poet William Woodsworth complained in 1800 that the increasing
accumulation of men (sic) in cities...prod a craving for extraordinary incident, which the
rapid communication of intelligence hourly gratifies.
-Early 19th cent celebrity culture was dependent on gossip (partially a function of
the urban coffee house-for gossip), broadhseets (early form of newspapers), access to
places of entmt, and increasing literacy.
-Note, however, that this early celebrity culture was based on oral and print
culture, not in visual culture.
Today we think of it in images. before was thought oral communication and writing.
the Advent of Visual Culture
Primary t the dvlpmt of more contemporart forms of celebrity culture was the invention
of visual tech
1. camera( from daguratype to moving camera)
2. moving picture camera
3. Rotagravure and printing technologies
-INCL the ability to print engraves images
-followed by the halftone process and the ability to print photographs
4. colour printing tech
photography
-early ohotograpbs look very stif , in part bc of the long exposures needed by early
camera tech
-the first photograph , taken by Nicephore Niepce in 1826, took 8 hours to expose and
prod a grainy, albeit, recognizable, image of a building
-most early photos incl landscapes and posed phtos.
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