Celebrity

By the time Caitlyn Jenner’s reality program, I Am Cait, premiered in the summer of 2015 featuring the athlete-cum-reality show star, she had already helped to instigate a national conversation about transgender lives. The celebrity phenomenon surrounding Jenner, which arguably mainstreamed the issue of transgender rights in ways that had not been done before, testifies to the cataclysmic reach of the celebrity platform, the increasingly convergent nature of media celebrity, and the imperative to grapple with how a proliferation of “no-holds-barred” access to stars has transformed the notion of twenty-first-century celebrity from earlier models.

The study of stardom and celebrity maintains a distinct but not fully integrated position in media studies, despite the centrality of fame to the production, distribution, and consumption of all media forms. Though scholarly accounts of stardom emerged almost as early as the discipline of film studies, the first scholarly journal devoted to the subject …

This essay may be found on page 28 of the printed volume.

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