Perth CMCS Conference – National Identity

I am very pleased to announce that we are holding our first Australian CMCS Conference in Perth, WA!

I have organised and Chaired CMCS conferences in New York and Barcelona, so it is exciting to bring it home! I would like to thank the Perth Convention Bureau and Tourism WA for their support.

Click below to read the full Call for Papers:

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I look forward to seeing you there!

New Book! – Becoming Brands

My new book, Becoming Brands: Celebrity, Activism and Politics, is now available for purchase here.


I would like to thank my co-editor Dr. Celia Lam and P. David Marshall for writing the foreword. I would also like to thank all the authors for contributing their chapters and Waterhill for publishing. This book was inspired by the presentations at the CMCS conference in Barcelona in 2016. The key theme was exploring celebrity activism and how activists become celebrities.


My own chapter in the book examines how Paul Newman established a posthumous brand that helps charities around the world.

I hope you enjoy reading it.

Bridging Gaps: Where is the film scholar in Hollywood filmmaking?

CMCS has a new conference coming up. Where better to discuss film and media than Hollywood? Check out the CFP…



Bridging Gaps: Where is the film scholar in Hollywood filmmaking?

Performance Café, University of South California

Los Angeles, USA

March 18-19, 2017

There have been significant debates on gaps between filmmakers and film scholars. Film scholars have been critical of dominant representations that tend to overlook classist, sexist, speciesist and ethnocentric trends in the production of films and star-studded images in Hollywood. Yet, scholarly views in academic writing are not adequately addressed in film production and in journalism. Scholars can address the issues through journalism and moving image practices in which filmmakers are trained. CMCS sponsored Celebrity Chat is an example of this trend. Can a new form of film ‘critic’ be situated in journalistic and scholarly discussions and screenings? Can the critiques become a new form of ‘activism’ that is different yet supports ideals of celebrity activism in Hollywood and beyond?

The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) Bridging Gaps conference, in association with sponsors Centre for Ecological, Social, and Informatics Cognitive Research (ESI.CORE) and WaterHill Publishing, invites papers and audiovisual material that explore the relationship among four key themes related to Hollywood – theory, production, criticism, and activism. We invite academics, filmmakers, journalists, publicists, and guests to present and connect cutting-edge research areas from a range of interdisciplinary fields and address social justice issues in moving image practices.

We also invite people to send in videos for the Celebrity Chat Award. The best video/documentary will be selected based on its ability to draw attention to a significant matter, be relevant to the conference theme and inspire change. Extended versions of selected papers will be invited for publication.

Registration includes: Your printed conference package, coffee / tea breaks, access to evening receptions, evening drinks, professional development workshop, and consideration for the CMCS $100 best paper and $100 screen awards.

Submission guidelines:

  • 250-word abstract or workshop / roundtable proposal
  • Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if applicable
  • Submit to conference Chair Dr Samita Nandy at email
  • Deadline for abstract submission: October 31, 2016
  • Notification of acceptance: December 2, 2016
  • Full text due: February 18, 2017
  • Conference presentation and reception: March 18-19, 2017

Celebrity Chat Video Submissions:

  • Video length should be 10-20 minutes
  • Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if applicable
  • Submit to Celebrity Chat producer Dr Jackie Raphael at email address:
  • Deadline for submission: October 31, 2016
  • Notification of acceptance: December 2, 2016
  • Conference screening: March 18-19, 2017

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Hollywood and non-Hollywood stardom
  • Entertainment industry
  • Film, video, and television
  • Cinematic adaptations of novels
  • Photography
  • Glamour and beauty
  • Mass media and social media
  • Journalism
  • Interviews
  • Public relations
  • Persona and branding
  • Endorsements
  • Social advocacy
  • Celebrity activism
  • Activists as celebrities
  • Human rights and animal rights
  • Environment and climate change
  • Audiences and fandom
  • Laws and Policies
  • Theory and Methods
  • Research Agenda
  • Business Models
  • Ethics and Morality
  • Cognition and Memory
  • Media Literacy
  • Social Innovation and Change
  • Education and Advocacy
  • Community Building
  • Business and Community Partnerships

Conference Chairs: Dr Samita Nandy

Committee Members: Dr Jackie Raphael, Dr Nicole Bojko and Kiera Obbard


Australian Fandom – downloading, Netflix, spoilers, Anime, Bollywood, local productions…

We are delighted by the many wonderful abstracts we have received, and thank all prospective authors for their proposals.

To complete the various themes of the book we are now specifically requesting abstracts exploring the following themes:

  • Downloading and Streaming in Australia (the impact of Netflix on Australian viewing; immediate access to series such as Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead; avoiding spoilers etc.)
  • Australian fandom and the Asia Pacific (Anime, KPop, JPop, Bollywood etc.)
  • Investigating fandom of Australian film and Television productions (Kath and Kim, Underbelly, Offspring, Summer Heights High etc.)
The extended deadline for submissions is September 17 2016.
Please see the original CFP (below) for submission instructions.


Online, offline and transcultural spaces in Australian Fandom

Australian fans have access to a wide array of popular culture content from around the world, developing relationships with these products that are as rich as fans from other parts of the globe. Until recently access to media products is limited by temporal and spatial distance from countries of origin. Yet, at the same time practices from diaspora communities to preserve cultural identity introduces a multitude of global media content to a wider Australian audience. Australian fans thus engage with a mixture of ‘conventional’ and ‘niche’ media products that places them both within the margins and in the mainstream.  While there may be parallels between Australia and other nations with multicultural communities, the geographical location, history and cultural mix of Australian society give rise to unique contexts shaping the consumption and practices of Australian fans.
We thus ask the question: What makes the Australian fan experience unique? What influence does geo-political location have on the consumption and appropriation of popular culture in the Australian context? What impact does Australian multicultural society have on exposure and access to popular culture? What drives Australian fan interaction with global popular culture, and how does this interaction intersect with narratives of ‘Australian-ness’ in local and globalised contexts?
This book seeks to explore the specific and unique experience of being fans living and Australia.
We seek authors to contribute critical chapters for an edited volume to be submitted to University of Iowa Press. Topics include but are not limited to:


  • Online fandom
  • Offline fandom (including convention attendance, fan-celebrity interaction etc)
  • Fan perceptions of celebrity brands/identities/public persona
  • Fan fiction
  • Cosplay culture
  • Anime culture
  • Manga culture
  • Subcultures of fandom
  • Transcultural fan practices (e.g. fan Subbers)
  • World cinema fandom
  • Cult cinema fandom
  • Comic book fandom
  • Distribution practices including Fast tracked television, Streaming services and Netflix
  • Fandom and national identity


Please email 300 word abstracts and your CV to both Celia Lam and Jackie Raphael by September 17 2016. Proposals should be for original chapters that have not been previously published (including conference proceedings), and are not under consideration from other journals or edited collections.
Dr. Celia Lam is Lecturer in Media and Communications, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney (
Dr. Jackie Raphael is Lecturer in Design, School of Design and Art, Curtin University (


Marvel Media Convergence

In our recent publication, “Marvel media convergence: Cult following and buddy banter”, Dr. Celia Lam and I explore themes such as online discussions, fandom, bromance, transmedia storytelling and buddy banter. The latter is a term we coined, which explores the relationship between co-stars of any gender. Developing the concept of bromances being used for promotional purposes, we decided to examine the different connections within a group dynamic. You can read all about it here –,id=22181/

This is the video that inspired this particular case study:



Celebrity Chat Season 2

I am proud to announce that we have launched Season 2 of Celebrity Chat. The first video won the top prize at the Bridging Gaps conference in Barcelona this year.

In this video, Dr. Susan Hopkins and Dr. Jenny Ostini from University of Southern Queensland discuss the celebrity campaign surrounding the female students who were kidnapped in North-Eastern Nigeria by Boko Haram Islamist militants.

Themes of feminism, fame and politics arise from this fascinating conversation. Check it out..