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*The following CFP might be of interest to SOCNET members* *exploring*
* the **intersections** of social change, microcelebrity, branding and
personal storytelling on digital platforms.** Please share widely with
faculty and students. Works-in-progress and personal stories are welcome. *

*NYC 2019 CMCS 8thInternational Conference*
*Bridging Gaps**: Re-Fashioning Stories for Celebrity Counterpublics*

Terrace Club at Club Quarters

25 W 51st St,across NBC & Rockefellar Centre
New York City, USA
August 30 – September 1, 2019

*Call for Papers: *

In the recent past, there has been an increased interest in exploring
intersections of life writing and studies of celebrity culture.
Storytelling is central to effective branding in fame. Furthermore, the use
of biographical elements has been recognized as a rhetorical device in
writing op-eds, personal essays, and public speaking that often raise
awareness on critical issues in popular media. Biography, as Lola
Romanucci-Ross points out, is mainly a useful symbolic tool for reflecting,
rotating and reversing real-life situations. Like biography, autobiography,
memoirs, and testimonials play crucial roles in mapping social facts.

The impacts of glamorous forms of storytelling in scandals, gossip, and
rumor become so crucial that they are often studied as sociological data,
regardless of whether they enable actual social change. For pop culture
enthusiasts and social observers, celebrities may or may not be actual role
models in telling meaningful stories and constructing subjectivity. Yet,
fans and students often invest affective and intellectual labor when it
comes to accepting, negotiating or contesting what appears to be
significant in understandings of popular figures. Celebrity scholars are
equally familiar with the complexities of engaging with and researching
“glossy topics”. As Sean Redmond (2014) has shown, acknowledging one’s own
celebrity attachments can produce innovative ways of (re)writing fame.
Conversely, these first-person accounts may also contribute to the
celebritisation of individual academics. What is the critical and
pedagogical potential of personal takes on fame within the field of
celebrity studies?

Celebrity narratives are perceived to have real power whether or not
celebrities are “important” people in the academic or moral sense. Drawing
on current affairs, celebrity politicians have used personal claims and
outrageous stories to push political agendas in divisive ways. Many other
famous personas use extravagant fashion as expressions of their luxurious
lives and build persona brands at the cost of ethics. For Elizabeth
Wissinger, the “glamour labor” involved in self-fashioning, surveillance,
and branding is often an inevitable and unfortunate outcome in the
production of consumer values and desirable bodies in fashion industries.
Public personas still self-fashion themselves and promote their brand by
extending text(ures) of language that sells to consumer tastes. However,
the challenge remains to sell the values of social justice. Can public
intellectuals learn narrative strategies from celebrity storytelling and
fill this gap?

What appears to be a shared reason behind the success of most popular
narratives, verbal (including oral) and non-verbal, is a persuasive
‘strategy’ to effectively tell life stories. If studying celebrity
biographies/autobiographies, best-selling memoirs, and other popular forms
of life-writings and self-expressions carry cultural worth, then
biographical elements of rising and celebrated public intellectuals,
academics, critics, and activists are equally important to consider in
disciplinary and interdisciplinary practices and understanding of fame. For
instance, real-life first-hand accounts, such as testimonies and visual
evidence, together with literary/artistic representations of gendered
oppression provide meaning for progressive thinking and practice. Anecdotal
accounts of famous sports personalities, actors, best-selling authors, and
top models among other public figures are often useful rhetorical tools
that help us to understand popular culture better. With this in mind, we
need to extend popular storytelling beyond celebrity culture and persona
branding, and use it to empower social change in academia, politics, and
other spheres.

The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) *Bridging Gaps*conference
series uses a reflective practice paradigm and asks an urgent question: Can
we learn popular strategies and re-fashion celebrity stories into tools for
public intellectualism and social transformation, in addition to studying
them? What enables or disables the public to tell personal stories in
studies and practices of celebrity culture? Can different forms of
storytelling from the lives of rising and celebrated academics, public
intellectuals, critics, and activists enable urgent social change? The
conference problematizes what it means to be a popular “storyteller” and
invites all academics, journalists, publicists, activists and models and
guests to attend, collaborate and publish valuable and purposeful work
around this key question and related topics in our conference.

The format of the conference aims at being open and inclusive of
interdisciplinary academic scholars and practitioners involved in all areas
of celebrity culture, fandom, fashion, and journalism.  The conference
combines paper presentations, workshop panels, roundtables, slideshows, and
interviews that aim to bridge gaps in celebrity activism, persona branding,
and fashion education. Working papers, media productions, and personal
stories will be considered for the conference.

Extended versions of selected best papers will be published in an edited

*Registration includes*: Your printed package for the complete conference,
professional development workshop, access to reception, complimentary
evening drinks, consideration for publication, and the CMCS $100 best paper
and $100 best screen awards.

*Abstract Submission Guidelines*:

•   250-word abstract or workshop / roundtable proposal

•   Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if

•   Submit abstract at [log in to unmask]: *February 28, 2019*

•   Notification of acceptance:*March 31, 2019*

•   Early bird deadline for hotel & conference registration:*April 30, 2019*

•   Conference reception & presentations: *Friday, August 30 – Sunday,
September 1, 2019*

*Celebrity Chat video Submissions Guidelines*:

•   Video length should be 10-20 minutes

•   Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if

•   Submit to Celebrity Chat producer Jackie Raphael at email

     address: [log in to unmask]

•   Conference reception and presentations: *August 30 –September 1, 2019*

*Topics include but are not limited to:*

·       Celebrity

·       Fandom

·       Audience

·       Persona

·       Life Writings

·       Oral storytelling

·       Fiction

·       Fashion

·       Photography

·       Performance

·       Publicity

·       News

·       Interviews

·       Social Media

·       Film and video

·       Theory and Methods

·       Research Agenda

·       Business Models

·       Ethics and Morality

·       Media Literacy

·       Education and Advocacy

·       International Relations

·       Community Building

·       Business and Community Partnerships

*Conference Chair*: Dr Samita Nandy
*Conference Committee*: Dr Jackie Raphael, Kiera Obbard, Sabrina Moro, and
Diana Miller

*Conference URL*:
*Conference Twitter* @celeb_studies
<> #CMCS19

Sponsors: CMCS & ESI.CORE

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