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Constructing and Defining the Cult Film Star: The Cult of Personality (Proposals due January 29th 2010)
full name / name of organization:
Kate Egan / Sarah Thomas, Aberystwyth University, UK
Proposals are invited for contributions to an edited collection on cult film stars. The term ‘cult film star’ has been employed, and used as a common-sense term, in publicity and popular journalistic writing for at least the last twenty-five years (for instance, in Danny Peary's 1991 reference book, Cult Movie Stars). However, what makes cult film stars or actors distinct or different from other film stars has rarely been addressed, with the cult star label often being attributed to particular stars or actors in a rather arbitrary or random way.
This edited collection aims to contribute to two key areas of debate and enquiry within film studies - star studies and cult film studies - by bringing together contributions focused on case studies of particular film stars/actors who have been considered to have a particular ‘cult’ appeal (whether actors or stars associated with Hollywood filmmaking, independent filmmaking or cinemas beyond Hollywood). The question that should unite all contributions to the book is: what are the industrial, performance-related, formal/aesthetic, cultural or discursive processes that inform the naming of particular film actors as ‘cult actors’ or ‘cult stars’? Consequently, we are happy to receive contributions that employ methods associated with: textual analysis, analysis of star performance, star labour, historical reception studies and/or audience research.
Questions that could be addressed in contributions may include, but are not limited to:
1. What role do particular stars or actors play in films that have been designated as cult? How do particular stars or actors relate to qualities that have been identified as important to many cult films, such as generic hybridity, self-consciousness, reflexivity, and excessiveness?