Northwestern University

Wed 5:00 PM

LNCC Speaker Series: Sharon Marcus, "The Celebrity System"

When: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
5:00 PM - 7:30 PM  

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum Room/UH 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public

Contact: Marie Pantojan  

Group: Long Nineteenth-Century Colloquium

English Department

Category: Lectures & Meetings

More Info


This talk uses the example of actress Sarah Bernhardt  (1844-1923) to outline the celebrity system, the field in which stars negotiate their status.  The talk focuses on four positions within the celebrity system: attraction, merit, typification, and incomparability, arguing that the biggest celebrities did not so much rise above any one of these positions as manage to occupy all of them simultaneously.  Bernhardt was able to occupy incomparability, the most distinctive position within the celebrity system, by representing herself as an authorial subject.  Bernhardt's distinctly modern brand of authorship, exemplified by her well-publicized forays into sculpture, combined the aura of peerless originality with imitation, alienation, and mechanical reproduction.

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