Celebrity Culture

University of Queensland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Celebrity Culture

  • Host University

    University of Queensland

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Communication, Media Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites


    COMU1000 + 4 credits of Arts

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course examines the phenomenon of celebrity in its historical, social and cultural contexts. It considers it in both its industrial and discursive forms. It investigates what the recent increase in the amount of media coverage devoted to celebrity and the range of outlets concerned with the topic represents, and looks at the range of arenas from which celebrities are drawn.
    Course Introduction
    The course will consider the historical development of the phenomenon of celebrity as well as its cultural, politico-economic and social functions. It will consider theories of celebrity from Alberoni?s ?powerless elite? to Rojek?s suggestions that it covers some of the same territory as religion but also his elaboration of contemporary fame to include notoriety. It will look at the industrial production of celebrity and the significance of celebrity in what John Corner and Dick Pels call the ?restyling of politics?.
    The increase in the proportion of media coverage devoted to celebrity will be a particular concern. Whether this speaks of simply a quantitative shift, an increased range of available media or something more complicated will be a key consideration. The course will address modes of engagement with celebrity and ways in which celebrity becomes embedded in everyday life and culture in terms of role modeling, identification, cultural ideals, scandal, gossip, and image management. This will allow you to critically reflect on the way you engage with celebrity culture.
    Some of the themes will be addressed through case studies of individual celebrities drawn from a number of different areas: sport, film, reality television, corporate culture, politics and on-line digital stardom. Arguments about the democratisation of celebrity will be addressed.
    Learning Objectives
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    • Understand the functions that celebrity serves in contemporary cultures
    • Demonstrate familiarity with, and the ability to critique, a range of theories about the phenomenon of celebrity
    • Analyse the operation of the celebrity industry in positioning individuals as potential celebrities and promoting those who achieve it.
    • Discuss verbally and in writing how celebrity manifests many of the characteristics of late modernity.
    • Produce theoretically informed critical analyses of individual celebrities and their (mediated) interactions with their audiences.
    Class Contact
    1.5 hours Lectures, 1.5 hours Tutorials
    Assessment Summary
    Participation: 20%
    Media Analysis: 30%
    Essay: 50%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.