Celebrity

Writing to Kiwi who is doing great work on Snoop and presenting soon in Oldenberg… Thinking about all the Celebrity literature that has emerged, and is pretty tame, in the last few years… Alongside the minor cults of celebrity in regard to popstars, what can be gleaned from the self-critical internal documents of the communist parties who had to deal with the aftermath of the great personality cults of Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Kim Il Sung? Without wanting to repeat the attacks on these guys and so line up with anti-communism, nor to particularly endorse the deification of these figures (who were/are more important than as mere models for statues, t-shirts or badges), there is surely something of interest here in these greater personality cults and the ways they had to be managed by really existing communist states (or former communist states). Might not the personality cult open up the various texts on celebrity in a unexpected/interesting way? And could we have a kind of deStalinization process for Kylie? Ah, for that matter, its not just communists who had such personality cults is it – is there a need for a denazification process for Madonna? A Nuremburg trial for the Rolling Stones and their sell-out to VW etc…?

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About john hutnyk

Writer on culture, cities, diaspora, history, film, prisons, colonialism, education, Marxism. Studied and taught in Australia at Deakin and Melbourne Universities; and in the UK in Manchester University’s Institute for Creative and Cultural Research; before moving to Goldsmiths in 1998, and becoming Academic Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies in 2004-2014. Has held visiting researcher posts in Germany at the South Asia Institute and Institute fur Ethnologie at Heidelberg University, and Visiting Professor posts in InterCultural Studies at Nagoya City University Japan, Zeppelin University and Hamburg University, Germany, Sociology at Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul, Turkey and at the Graduate institute for Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. Immediate past adjunct Professor of RMIT University, Melbourne and GIAN Visiting Professor Jadavpur Uni Kolkata.
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