"Celebrity, Politics, New Media: The Implications of Pandemic Persona"

Mercoledì, 16 Maggio, 2018 - da 11:00 a 13:00
Seminario visiting Prof. P. David Marshall

Mercoledì 16 Maggio 2018, dalle 11:00 alle 13:00, presso l'aula 356 del San Niccolò, Università di Siena, via Roma 56 si terrà il seminario del visiting Prof. P. David Marshall su:


"Celebrity/Politics/New Media: The Implications of Pandemic Persona"


Celebrity articulates a very particular form of public identity that more or less is linked to the extensions of the self beyond one’s primary activity and into the complex dimensions of publicity, fame and into a wider and, by its very definition, popular culture. Celebrity’s relationship to another form of public identity – the politician/political leader – is conceptually and practically connected by their shared relationship to the popular and its articulation through the various mediated forms of popular culture.  This connection to popular culture is one of the ways in which power is legitimized as the politician or celebrity is authenticated by their capacity to embody the citizenry in one sphere and the audience in another. This paper and presentation argues that there has been a significant transformation in our constitution of fame in the contemporary moment that has fundamentally shifted this fame/politics nexus. The key element of this shift is the way in which digital media has reconfigured our political-popular cultural landscape.  This paper argues that via the communicative structures of social media and its avenues of sharing and connecting, there has developed a pandemic will-to-public identity by the billions of users of online culture – what is identified as pandemic persona - that resembles the patterns with which celebrity and politicians have operated over the previous century. Pandemic persona has produced a new instability in the organization of contemporary politics as this new public intermediary insinuates itself in unpredictable ways into the way that the process of representation in both popular and political culture manifests itself in what could be seen as legacy media and legacy formations of political institutions and practices.


P. David Marshall - Short Bio

P David Marshall holds a Professorship and Personal Chair in New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Deakin University in Melbourne Australia.  He is the world-leading scholar in the study of celebrity and public personality systems.  Along with many articles and book chapters, Professor Marshall’s books include Celebrity and Power (Minnesota, 2nd edition 2014), Celebrity Persona Pandemic (Minnesota, 2016), New Media Cultures (Oxford Arnold, 2004), Web Theory (2003) and Fame Games (Cambridge, 2000). His edited or co-edited books include A Companion to Celebrity (Blackwell-Wiley, 2016), Contemporary Publics (Palgrave, 2016), and The Celebrity Culture Reader (Routledge, 2006). His current research has focussed on the concept of persona and the now associated sub-field of Persona Studies which investigates the strategic construction of the public display of the self, both in its online forms and in other transforming contexts.  His forthcoming research and publications include: the General Editor of the 6-volume Cultural History of Fame (for Bloomsbury Academic), the co-authored Advertising and Promotional Cultures: Case Histories (Palgrave, Jan. 2018), Persona Studies: Celebrity, Identity and the Transformation of the Public Self (Dec. 2018) and the future book Emoji and Gestural Communication (McGill Queens University Press, 2019/20).  His expertise has led to interviews published in the New York Times, Globe and Mail, Sydney Morning Herald as well as appearances on other legacy media including the BBC, CNN, Fox News, the ABC and many other media outlets around the world. He maintains a very intermittent personal blog at www.pdavidmarshall.com