Launch Event: Public Culture Special Issue “Celebrities and Publics in the Internet Era”

February 13, 2015
6:00 pm
Institute for Public Knowledge
20 Cooper Square, 503
New York, New York
Launch Event: Public Culture Special Issue “Celebrities and Publics in the Internet Era”

On the occasion of the publication of “Celebrities and Publics in the Internet Era,” Public Books, Public Culture, and the Institute for Public Knowledge invite you to a discussion with contributing authors Sharon Marcus, Alice Marwick, Susan Murray, and Dana Polan. The event will be moderated by Terri Senft and followed by a reception with the authors.

“Celebrities and Publics in the Internet Era,” a special issue of Public Culture guest edited by Sha­ron Marcus, asks how new digital media platforms such as search engines, Twit­ter, Facebook, Instagram, GIFs, and YouTube have qualitatively changed celebrity culture. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from the luxury selfies of micro­celebrities like Kane Lim to performance artist Marina Abramović’s collabora­tions with Jay­-Z and Lady Gaga, from the karaoke standard in shows like American Idol to Syrian singer Assala’s media battle with the Assad regime, from the “emotion economy” of reality TV to the influence of network entrepreneurs like Tim O’Reilly, the essays in this special issue identify core structural features that contribute to the development of a new theory of celebrity.

Sharon Marcus is Dean of Humanities and the Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She is the author of Apartment Stories: City and Home in Nineteenth-Century Paris and London (1999) and the prize-winning Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England (2007). In 2009, with Stephen Best, she edited a special issue of Representations on “The Way We Read Now.” A founder and Co–Editor in Chief of Public Books, she is currently finishing a book about theatrical celebrity in the 19th century.


Alice Marwick is Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Director of the McGannon Communication Research Center at Fordham University, and an academic affiliate at the Center for Law and Information Policy at Fordham Law School. Her work examines the impact of the large audiences made possible by social media on individuals and communities from a social, cultural, and legal perspective. She is the author of Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age (2013). Current research interests include online privacy practices, the changing nature of self-presentation, and gender, feminism, and social media.


Susan Murray is Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU. She is the author of Hitch Your Antenna to the Stars: Early Television and Broadcast Stardom (2005) and a co-editor, with Laurie Ouellette, of two editions of Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture (2004, 2009). She is currently working on “Brought to You in Living Color: A Cultural History of Color Television,” a book project under contract with Duke University Press and supported by fellowships from the NEH, ACLS, and the Humanities Initiative at NYU.


Dana Polan is Professor of Cinema Studies at New York University. He is the author of eight books on film and media and approximately two hundred essays, reviews, and review-essays. Two of the books are in Duke University Press’s series, Spin-offs, on individual television shows: one on The Sopranos, one on Julia Child’s The French Chef. Polan is a former president of the Society for Cinema Studies, the professional society for film, and a former editor of its publication, Cinema Journal. He has been knighted by the French Ministry of Culture for contributions to cross-cultural exchange, and in 2003 he was selected as one of that year’s two Academy Foundation Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Terri Senft teaches in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University. Her writing focuses on how digital technologies shift cultural notions of the private, the public, the pedagogic, and the pornographic. She is the author of Camgirls: Celebrity & Community in the Age of Social Networks, co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Social Media, currently co-editing a special section on “selfies” for the International Journal of Communication, and writing a monograph titled “Fame to Fifteen: Social Media and the Micro-Celebrity Moment.” Terri has written for the New York Times and spoken at venues including Arcadia Missa / The Institute of Contemporary Art, TED Salon London, and Saatchi & Saatchi. She also featured in the award-winning documentary Webcam Girls.


Please RSVP here.