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Sharon Marcus presents The Drama of Celebrity

July 31, 2019 | 7:00 pm

Free

Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning author and editor SHARON MARCUS—Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University—for a discussion of her latest book, The Drama of Celebrity. She will be joined in conversation by JOSEPH REZEK, Director of Graduate Studies in English at Boston University.

About The Drama of Celebrity

Why do so many people care so much about celebrities? Who decides who gets to be a star? What are the privileges and pleasures of fandom? Do celebrities ever deserve the outsized attention they receive?

In this fascinating and deeply researched book, Sharon Marcus challenges everything you thought you knew about our obsession with fame. Icons are not merely famous for being famous; the media alone cannot make or break stars; fans are not simply passive dupes. Instead, journalists, the public, and celebrities themselves all compete, passionately and expertly, to shape the stories we tell about celebrities and fans. The result: a high-stakes drama as endless as it is unpredictable.

Drawing on scrapbooks, personal diaries, and vintage fan mail, Marcus traces celebrity culture back to its nineteenth-century roots, when people the world over found themselves captivated by celebrity chefs, bad-boy poets, and actors such as the “divine” Sarah Bernhardt (1844–1923), as famous in her day as the Beatles in theirs. Known in her youth for sleeping in a coffin, hailed in maturity as a woman of genius, Bernhardt became a global superstar thanks to savvy engagement with her era’s most innovative media and technologies: the popular press, commercial photography, and speedy new forms of travel.

Whether you love celebrity culture or hate it, The Drama of Celebrity will change how you think about one of the most important phenomena of modern times.

Details

Date:
July 31, 2019
Time:
7:00 pm
Cost:
Free
Event Category:
Website:
http://www.harvard.com/event/sharon_marcus/

Organizer

Harvard Book Store
Phone:
6176611515
Email:
info@harvard.com
Website:
harvard.com

Venue

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
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Website:
www.harvard.com

Did You Know?

Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.