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Celebrity Politics




Speaker: Mark Wheeler, Professor of Political Communications at London Metropolitan University

Location: Room D104, Social Sciences Building, EC1R 0JD

Celebrity politicians and politicised celebrities have had a profound impact upon the practice of politics and the way in which it is now communicated. New forms of political participation have emerged as a result and the political classes have increasingly absorbed the values of celebrity into their own PR strategies. Celebrity activists, endorsers, humanitarians and diplomats also play a part in reconfiguring politics for a more fragmented and image-conscious public arena. In academic circles, celebrity may be viewed as a 'manufactured product', one fabricated by media exposure so that celebrity activists are no more than 'bards of the powerful'. This paper, however, provides a more nuanced critique, contending that both celebrity politicians and politicized stars should be defined by their 'affective capacity' to operate within the public sphere.

Mark Wheeler is Professor of Political Communications at London Metropolitan University. He has written four books including Politics and the Mass Media (Oxford: Blackwells 1997), European Television Industries (co-authored with Petros Iosifidis and Jeanette Steemers) (London: BFI 2005) Hollywood: Politics and Society (London: BFI 2006) and Celebrity Politics (Cambridge: Polity Press 2013). He has also published numerous journal articles and chapters within edited books. Celebrity Politics has been favourably reviewed in the Times Higher Educational Supplement, the LSE Review of Books and the Political Communications Journal.

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When & where

11.00am - 1.00pmWednesday 26th March 2014

Rhind Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1R 0JD United Kingdom

Contact Details

Department of Sociology

Social Sciences Building
City, University of London
Whiskin Street
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7040 8500

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