HFMK03315U FM, Module 2, Media, Genre and Aesthetics: Celebrification: Celebrity cultures and celebrity genres across media

Volume 2018/2019

Master in Film and Media Studies, 2016-curriculum


In their article “To see and to be Seen: Celebrity Practice on Twitter” from 2011, Alice Marwick and danah boyd understand celebrity “as an organic and ever-changing performative practice, rather than a set of intrinsic personal characteristics or external labels”. This idea of celebrity as ongoing practices through which celebrity is produced and reproduced as brand, commodity, media persona, cultural icon, is the point of departure for the course which will look at a range of celebrity practices as they unfold in different forms, in different media, across media, and within different fields. Overall, the course will elaborate on the term celebrification and discuss how it can be used as an umbrella term for the working of celebrity in popular culture and beyond, but also as a way of understanding broader societal processes concerning visibility and identity, media life, the performance of subjectivity and fame. Processes of celebrification have changed over the decades but not least in recent years due to the development of social media platforms and the changing forms of visibility and communication caused by digitization. Therefore, the course will include a film and media historical angle and look into how core dichotomies attached to the understanding of celebrity have changed – the public/private and the ordinary/extraordinary tensions most significantly.


The course will discuss how specific celebrities are constructed in and by different media. Moreover, these discussions will open to broader discussions about media culture, forms of mediated communication, and the meaning and use of celebrities in the everyday life of people; hence the course will include discussions about celebrity fandom.


Topics may include: The politician as celebrity and celebrity politics, the writer as celebrity, the intellectual as celebrity, celebrity humanitarianism, the idea of microcelebrity, celebrity and social media, celebrity-selfies, celebrity scandals, celebrity and labor, memories of celebrities, celebrities and ordinary fandom, celebrity following across the life course, generations and celebrity following, paparazzi photography etc.


An extended list of literature will be available by the start of the semester. Before that, the following books are recommended:


Dyer, Richard Dyer (1979). Stars. London: BFI. (first edition)

Rojek, Chris (2001). Celebrity. London: Reaktion Press.

Elliott, Anthony (ed). (2017). Routledge Handbook of Celebrity Studies. New York and London: Routledge.

Gamson, Joshua (1994). Claims to Fame. Celebrity in Contemporary America. Berkeley, Los Angeles & London: University of California Press.



Learning Outcome

Master in Film and Media Studies 2016-curriculum:
Module 2: Media, Genre and Aesthetics: HFMK03311E


  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Course Preparation
  • 353,5
  • Total
  • 409,5
Type of assessment
The exam will be conducted in English
Criteria for exam assesment