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The Celebrity Cultural Critic

June 6, 2012

Dear Readers,

I have been often asked why I focus on celebrity culture.  What is it about celebrity culture that appeals me and calls my attention?  Before I delve into this intriguing question, I thought I would share thoughts on a Celebrity Cultural Critic.

As it appears in my PhD, StarBuzz Weekly magazine editions, and social media, I write and speak as a Celebrity Cultural Critic. 

Is it a celebrity, some sort of an art or film critic…. a fan?

The boundaries among these categories become increasingly blurred as I set to define what it is.

Celebrity Cultural Critic is a term designated to a media personality who specializes in cultural treatment of fame.  I coined the term to refer to one who engages in an intellectual and aesthetic practice of critically recognizing and understanding public figures and fans in celebrity culture.

We all come across celebrity culture through mass media.  How and why do we identify with their constructions and representations?  Do we like or dislike what we view?  Maybe both?  Do celebrities understand fame in the same way the fan does? What are the shifts in fame-based practices and how can public personalities, artists, and creative fans fully stand out in a competitive global market?

If you are reading this post now and thinking about some possible answers, most likely there is a critic inside you too!

To address the above question, the historical, cultural, political and economic context in which you are positioned is important to know but often not recognized.  What are the contexts in which fame restores or shifts talent in media and other representations?  Are those representations aligned with one’s talent and highest ability?

Samita Nandy, Celebrity Cultural Critic (left) and Alison Migneault, Festival Director of TIFF sponsored Canadian Film Festival (right) in an interview and commenting on film talent in celebrity culture

The Celebrity Cultural Critic emerged out of my Doctoral research on fame and seeked to address the above questions on talent.  Valued at over $120,000, the funded research on fame began after I went to Australia in 2006. With the support of distinguished faculty members Professor Matthew Allen, Dr. Helen Merrick, Professor Jon Stratton, Dr. Michele Willson, and Dr. John Fielder, my research developed with an aim to unfold innovative meanings and practices of fame, transnational media relations, and extend it to new understandings of worldwide celebrities and fans in their particular social and cultural settings.

For a Celebrity Cultural Critic, criticism does not mean criticizing a celebrity’s work. Rather, the critic strategically positions public personalities within varied yet specific contexts of fame. In the process, the Celebrity Cultural Critic unlocks artistic, cultural, and economic assets of talent that are often overlooked in favour of standard forms of representation. As well, a Celebrity Cultural Critic recognizes the critical role of fandom in understanding and contributing to overall art in fame-based practices.

‘Celebrity Cultural Criticism’ is thereby a form of arts criticism that is distinct from criticism of stars / celebrities in tabloid journalism.

With film critic Jason Anderson and director / actress Nadia Litz, who attended Cannes Internation Film Festival for her acting in the award winning film ‘The Five Senses’

The Celebrity Cultural Critic:

– Contributes an added intellectual and aesthetic value to merit-based fame, talent, and independent art beyond tabloid journalism.

– Advances and promotes existing brand image of public personalities at an international, national, and local level of popular culture.

– Adopts elegant styles that are specific to public personalities while broadening their scope.

– Supports the cultural products of all artists (these products include cinema, television programs, theatrical plays, music, photographs, books, and mixed media).

– Restores the original talent with which a particular stardom, celebrity, and independent art emerged in the entertainment industry and supports quality control of the talent.

The question still remains: why do ‘I’ focus on celebrity culture?

There is something stimulating and unusual yet elegant and captivating that I will share in my next post ‘Why Celebrity Culture?’

In the meantime, the ‘critic’ inside ‘you’ may touch upon some thoughts that will speak of your higher talent and abilities.  As I mentioned in my last post, you are on a creative journey of life and I believe that you, as many others, can always shine higher on your own path.

I hope your week is shining bright and I looking forward to sharing more soon!

With much affection,

Samita

© 2012 Celebrity Cultural Critic Samita Nandy.  All rights reserved.  Texts and images on this site cannot be copied, used or reproduced for any academic or commercial purpose without written permission from Samita Nandy.

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4 Comments
  1. Enlightening & thought provoking reading Samita, cant wait for the next post…

    • Thank you for your thoughts on the post. Looking forward to sharing more on the intersections of politics and aesthetics of fame.

  2. Louis Massey permalink

    I like your idea of going beyond tabloid journalism and restoring the original talent often occulted by an over-emphasis on fame!

  3. Thank you for your thoughts on the post. I am currently reading about the visual and literary productions (including diaries) of Pop Art Movement icon Andy Warhol. It is very interesting to see how Warhol used irony to address the over-emphasis on fame! One of my next blog posts will look at his work further

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