[UPDATE] Celebrity Couples Conference 24 Nov 2012

full name / name of organization: 
University of Southampton

Celebrity Couples Conference

The University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Diane Negra, University College Dublin.

Professor Linda Ruth Williams, University of Southampton.

This conference seeks to explore the phenomenon of the celebrity power couple: those relationships where two stars come together and where their individual identities as celebrities become inseparable from their status as a famous couple. With the prominence of one-name couples (Brangelina, TomKat) and famous families (Will Smith / Jada Pinkett Smith and kids), it is becoming increasingly clear that celebrity is no longer an individual pursuit (if it ever was). When combining forces through agents and managers, these couples can straddle different celebrity spheres (David and Victoria Beckham). Also, in the neoliberal, postfeminist present, these (in)famous relationships are often bound up in cultural and legal politics of kinship (Ellen Degeneres and Portia deRossi's wedding in the midst of debates about gay marriage laws, and famous politicians like the Clintons). The overriding questions of this conference are therefore: How do celebrities use relationships to further their fame / power? And how does celebrity culture engage with / reflect / influence the culture and politics of kinship? We encourage papers that cross celebrity spheres (film, TV, music, media, sport, politics, art, literature, fashion, royalty, etc), and we welcome collaborative efforts.

Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

* Celebrity couples and romance / wedding / marriage culture

* Celebrity families and parenting / adoption

* Celebrity couples and marriage laws

* Celebrity break-ups and divorces

* Recession / austerity and celebrity relationships

* Historical celebrity couples

* Historicizing celebrity coupledom

* Entrepreneurial celebrity couples (joint companies)

* The role(s) of entrepreneurs in creating celebrity couples (agents and managers)

* Political couples and celebrity culture

* International, trans-national and globalized celebrity couples and families

* Non-normative kinships in celebrity culture

* The discourse and rhetoric of celebrity coupledom (tabloid writing / internet forums)

* Sex and sexuality

* Affect and emotion

* 'Race' and ethnicity

* Class

Please email 250 word abstracts with your name and affiliation to Dr. Shelley Cobb and Dr. Neil Ewen at celebritycouplesconference@gmail.com by Friday 11 May 2012. Please feel free to email with enquiries.

This conference is being kindly supported by the Centre for Contemporary and Modern Writing, Faculty of Humanities, University of Southampton.