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Researching glossy topics: the case of the academic study of celebrity

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Publication details

JournalCelebrity Studies
DatePublished - 5 Nov 2010
Issue number3
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)360-365
Original languageEnglish


The launch of Celebrity Studies journal represents an ideal opportunity to reflect upon the general trajectory of celebrity as an academic topic. This is a particularly pressing task given the increasingly uncertain socio-economic conditions within which we find ourselves. To this end, we draw upon the recorded outputs of the academy to provide a quantitative visualisation of the study of celebrity. To complement this statistical overview we weave in a cursory narrative that revolves around selected works that have shaped the study of celebrity (see also Ferris 2007). The piece approaches celebrity as an example of what we refer to as ‘glossy topics’, the study of which might be found to be increasingly difficult as a consequence of the economic downturn and the burgeoning necessity, across many national contexts, for disciplines to be vocal and explicit about their purpose, value and direction.

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