Celebrity Encounters: Transatlantic Fame in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America

full name / name of organization: 
Páraic Finnerty (University of Portsmouth) UK
contact email: 
Paraic.finnerty@port.ac.uk

Building on recent scholarship that has demonstrated that the discourses, practices and conditions associated with twentieth- and twenty-first-century celebrity culture were already in place in America and Europe by the end of the eighteenth century, this conference explores the transatlantic dimensions of nineteenth-century constructions of fame and fandom. It considers the ways transatlantic celebrity affected relationships between, and the identities of, celebrities and fans, and facilitated a questioning of geographically located notions of identity, race, gender and class. In the context of new forms of communication, transport and media that irrevocably altered celebrity cultural exchanges across the Atlantic, this conference focuses on the nature of celebrity encounters and the complexities of relationships between famous Americans and their British fans; British lions and their American devotees; and British and American celebrities.

Possible topics include:

• Anglo-American celebrity encounters in nineteenth-century British and/or American literature or culture
• Transatlantic fandom as a subject in nineteenth-century British and/or American literature or culture
• American celebrities/fans in nineteenth-century Britain
• British celebrities/fans in nineteenth-century America
• The transatlantic reception of British and/or American writers and artists
• Gender, race, nationality and class in transatlantic celebrity exchanges

The conference will take place at the University of Portsmouth on the 4th and 5th of July 2014.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:
David Haven Blake (The College of New Jersey, USA)
Tom Mole (University of Edinburgh, UK)
Richard Salmon (University of Leeds, UK)

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words, together with a brief biographical note listing your affiliation, to: paraic.finnerty@port.ac.uk. The deadline for submission is 14th of February 2014.

cfp categories: 
american
bibliography_and_history_of_the_book
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ethnicity_and_national_identity
gender_studies_and_sexuality
general_announcements
interdisciplinary
poetry
romantic
travel_writing
victorian