CFP: The Star and Celebrity Confessional (2/1/07; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Sean Redmond
contact email: 

CFP: The Star and Celebrity Confessional
      Special Themed Issue Social Semiotics
      Guest Editor: Sean Redmond
Social Semiotics ( is
soliciting papers for a special themed issue on the star and celebrity
confessional. The confessional, taken to be any moment in which a star,
celebrity, or fan engages in revelatory acts, has become one of the dominant
ways in which fame is circulated and consumed.
The celebrity confessional involves Œthe combination of reflexivity about
the business of being a celebrity, emotional interiority and self
criticism¹: and it is where the fan is Œinvited to feel with their feelings¹
(Littler, 2004: 13/18). Through the confessional text (played out in the
biopic, documentary, talk-show interview, self-reflexive song lyric, star
blog, and celebrity magazine interview), the celebrity seemingly attempts to
speak openly and honestly about where they have come from. Such a
confession(s) would include their humble beginnings; the troubles, hardships
and corruption they may have faced along their journey to fame; who they
really are underneath the fame gown; and how alike they are to the everyday
people who watch their films, buy their records, go to their concerts, and
watch their soccer or tennis matches. Similarly, the fan/consumer who
confesses their desire for, and identification with, the star or celebrity,
on line, in diaries, reveal a para-social relationship that is in part
devotional, obsessional, but also potentially intimate and fully lived. It
is one of the mechanisms Œthrough which relationships, identity, and social
and cultural norms are debated, evaluated, modified and shared¹ (Turner,
In this Special Edition of the journal Social Semiotics, the different
manifestations, meanings, and processes of the star and celebrity
confessional will be explored. Potential themes/texts/contexts/case studies
could include:
The confessional interview
The confessional song
Authenticity and artifice as modes of confessional expression
Confession as myth
The race/sex/sexuality/class of the confession
Confession as intimacy
Fan confessionals
Confession as transgression and empowerment
Confession as a form of group belonging
Religious deification and the confession
Confession as therapy
The commodity confessional text
The confessional star or celebrity
Confession as damage
Confession as obsession
The confessional talk of fame
Social Semiotics is committed to inter and cross-disciplinary approaches
that are politically and historically engaged, and on publishing papers that
reveal something profound about the nature of everyday life.
Please send your abstract (500-750 words in length), or completed essay
(5,000-7,000 words, Harvard style of referencing), plus a brief biographic
statement, as e-mail attachments (in Word ) to the editor:
Sean Redmond
Senior Lecturer in Film Studies,
Victoria University of Wellington,
New Zealand
Deadline for abstract submission: February 1st 2007
If your abstract is chosen for final consideration, you will have until
October 31st (2007) to complete the first draft. Completed Essays submitted
by the February deadline will have a similar period of time for any
re-drafting that needs to be done.
Queries or questions to

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Received on Sun Nov 05 2006 - 20:36:00 EST