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CFP: Mise au point “What’s New About Stars?”

The 6th issue of Mise au Point intends to display the stakes of current research on stardom in cinema and television studies.

Whether during the production, broadcasting or reception process, stars from arthouse cinema or mass culture – easily moving from one to the other – make us consider cinema and television as cultural, social and artistic practices.

Different research approaches (economic, ideological, sociocultural, aesthetical, historical, semiological, narratological, anthropological…) may be used simultaneously, thus illustrating the “impure” quality of cinema that was so dear to André Bazin.

Stars may be viewed as a means to develop audience loyalty; they can also be compared to heterogeneous and polysemous media texts (advertising, promoting, interviews, filmic characters, acting techniques, public image, audience and critical receptions). According to Richard Dyer, the star can be defined by his/her capacity to convey social tensions that cannot be solved in reality.

Priority will be given to:

– An epistemological approach. What do Star Studies target? What kind of heuristic tools do they display? How reliable are they? What other fields of studies could be useful to understand the construction of stardom? What about Fan Studies?

– A historical approach. The label “star” appeared in the 19th Century to designate the tragedians and opera singers. It was then used to coin the very popular movie actors. Ever since the rise of the internet, Star Studies have been deeply modified by the globalization of media and the development of people magazines. Are Sarah Bernhardt and Catherine Deneuve worlds apart in the matter of stardom? Has global promotion through media enabled other types of jobs than actors – especially filmmakers – to produce stars (let’s mention the coverage of the French media on Sofia Coppola as an example)?

– An intermedia approach. How do stars switch from theatre to cinema or to television? Does the comparison of the phenomenon with other fields like music, sports or politics make sense?

– A gender approach. Is there a difference if the star and the stars’ fans are male or female?

– A semio-pragmatic approach. How is this cult constructed? Do the three constructive authorities (namely the producers, the journalists and the spectators) still share equal functions in that matter? What is the role of a star in everyday life?

– An economic approach: is the bankable star a promoter or a “box office poison”?

Specific or theoretical approaches will be considered with attention.

Proposals for contributions shall be submitted, in French or English to Gwénaëlle Le Gras ( and Laurent Jullier ( The mandatory deadline was September 1st, 2012, however this call was recently re-issued (interested students should contact the journal). After review by the Editorial Board of Les Cahiers de l’AFECCAV, authors whose proposals have been selected will submit their contribution by December 15th, 2012.

Selected Bibliography:

– Benhamou Françoise, L’économie du star-system, Paris, Odile Jacob, 2002. – Dyer Richard, Le star-système hollywoodien, suivi de Marilyn Monroe et la sexualité, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2004 [1979]. – Gledhill Christine (dir.), Stardom, Industry of Desire, London & New York, Routledge, 1991. – McDonald Paul, The Star System, London, Wallflower Press, 2000. – Morin Edgar, Les Stars, Paris, Le Seuil, 1972 [1957]. – Naremore James, Acting in the Cinema, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, University of California Press, 1998. – Stacey Jackie, Star Gazing : Hollywood Cinema and Female Spectatorship, London, Routledge, 1994. – Vincendeau Ginette, Les stars et le star-système en France, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2008 [2001].

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