Star studies in mid-life crisis

Shingler, Martin and Steenberg, Lindsay (2019) Star studies in mid-life crisis. Celebrity Studies, 10 (4). pp. 445-452. ISSN 1939-2400

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If the publication of Richard Dyer’s Stars in 1979 marks the beginnings of Star Studies, then what began as a particular branch of Film Studies is now 40 years old. For the glamorous female stars of studio-era Hollywood, this was once a dangerous age that saw many retire from the big screen (e.g., Norma Shearer) or be relegated to character parts (e.g., Miriam Hopkins). Occasionally, and memorably, star performances pathologised the ageing female stars who refused to accept such relegation, such as Gloria Swanson’s Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Bette Davis’ Jane Hudson in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962). For men (stars or otherwise), the onset of a fifth decade is commonly associated with a ‘mid-life crisis’ brought on in part by a thinning head of hair and an expanding waistline, compounded by a palpable sense of frustration resulting from unachieved ambitions, declining potency, and general loss of confidence. At 40, does any of this redundancy, invisibility or decline apply to Star Studies? Has the time come for it to retire – gracefully or not – from the academic scene or content itself with a marginal role? Has it lost direction, motivation and ambition to become bloated and complacent, lacking new ideas, out-stripped by other (newer) areas of Media and Cultural Studies – for example, Celebrity Studies – so that it is now an irrelevance?

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router ** History: ppub 02-10-2019; issued 02-10-2019; epub 03-10-2019.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cultural Studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Media and Communications
SWORD Depositor: Publication Router
Depositing User: Publication Router
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2020 11:27
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2020 10:05

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