CfP Stars and Stardom in Eastern European Cinema, 2019

A significant body of scholarship since Dyer’s groundbreaking work on stars (1979; 1986) has challenged the view that stardom was limited to Hollywood (e.g. Vincendeau 2000, Ascheid 2003, Hayward 2004, Soila 2009, Williams Bandhauer and Royer 2015). Although star biographies are ubiquitous in Eastern Europe [e.g. Bános on Pál Jávor (1978)], there is a wealth of archival material to mine (e.g. Zbigniew Cybulski headshots and lobby cards traded on online auction sites), and scholars have considered film actors in relation to representations of femininity (e.g. Attwood 1993, Iordanova 2003, Mazierska and Ostrowska 2006) and in relation to national identity (e.g. Williams 2015, Gergely 2016), much work remains to be done in the context of Eastern Europe on stars, stardom and infrastructure supporting star systems (e.g. agencies, the tabloid press, fan literature, and exhibition, distribution and marketing firms).

Call for papers: Stars and Stardom in Eastern European Cinema. A special issue of Studies in Eastern European Cinema edited by Gábor Gergely (University of Lincoln).

The false perception that stardom was negligible or even non-existent and the assumption that state-supported film industries were insensitive to audience demand and therefore had no need for stars remain hard to shake because what writing there is on Eastern European stars is dispersed and yet to grow into a body of work that can offer a comprehensive and nuanced view. At play, too, is the blurring of state socialist Eastern Europe with the region’s other faces and eras. The popular, but false image of the drabness of life behind the Iron Curtain does not easily mesh with the notions of glitz and glamour cultivated by classical Hollywood’s publicity departments.

This special issue of SEEC aims to bring together scholarship on stars and stardom in Eastern Europe as a first effort to present in one publication a range of star studies approaches to Eastern European cinema. For this reason any approach to stars and stardom in any setting or settings that has or have been seen as Eastern European from whatever vantage point will be received with great interest.

Topics may include, but are by no means restricted to:

  • Stars of the silent era
  • Stars and star systems of the interwar era and the Second World War
  • Stars and star systems of the state socialist period
  • Stardom, the state and censorship
  • Stardom since 1989
  • Fans, audiences and stars
  • Stardom and sex/gender
  • Feminist/intersectional approaches to stardom
  • Queer stars/queering stardom
  • Émigré stars
  • Stars and genres
  • Stars and nation
  • Stars and auteurs
  • Foreign stars in Eastern Europe
  • Reception of stars from outside Eastern Europe

Please send 200 word proposals for papers of 7,000 to 8,000 words with short bios to Gábor Gergely to by 30 September, 2019. The deadline for full articles is 31 March, 2020.

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