The Fame Matters journal and conference series aim to broaden the conversation on fame, by re-configuring ‘fame’ as a framework through which to explore issues pertinent to communication, media and cultural studies more generally. We aim to explore not only mechanisms towards fame (what makes stars and celebrities), but the individuals and structures that produce fame (loosely, intermediaries such as publicists, vloggers, journalists and fans), the different expressions of fame in online ecologies, and the utilities of fame in strategic communication targeted towards winning the media ‘game’. At the same time, we consider fame as a conceptual category that requires definition and re-definition in different cultural and technological contexts. These concepts draw upon historical configurations of renown, visibility, norms of public self-expression and circles of influence, but are necessarily reshaped in light of the production and distribution of contemporary fame.
Our interest is not only to examine film and television celebrities but to consider the ecologies that develop around influencers on platforms such as Tik Tok and Instagram, as well as entrepreneurs and the play of fame in and among politicians around the world. Thus, we aim to consider how fame operates in areas outside of celebrity and media; in politics, history, business, sociology, and online economies of attention and influence.
One of our secondary aims is to unite disciplines. In particular, celebrity studies and fan studies are often divided, but we believe there is potential for interdisciplinary intersections between the two, and would like to offer a platform to explore these intersections. Other examples include media studies and Internet studies, or advertising and cultural studies. Fame unites all these fields.
In 2019 we launched our first bi-annual Fame Conference titled “Fame and Fandom: Functioning On and Offline”. Here are some of the highlights…