The Culture of Celebrity 

A Bibliography of Critical Writings

During the Fall 2001 semester, students at The College of New Jersey built an annotated, on-line bibliography of writings that reflect on the culture of celebrity.  Their work should help promote critical discussion on an important and emergent field of inquiry.  Special thanks to Dina Carmy and Marc Meola of TCNJ's Roscoe L. West Library for their gracious assistance.  

The Culture of Celebrity bibliography will be an on-going project, so check this site for updates.  Please contact David Blake -- blake at -- to recommend additional sources.   

Click here for an annotated version of this bibliography 


Adair, Douglass.  “Fame and the Founding Fathers," Fame and the Founding Fathers, ed. Trevor Colbourn (New York: Norton, 1974).

Adams, Bluford.  E Pluribus Barnum.  (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997).

Adler, Patricia A. and Adler, Peter "The Glorified Self: The Aggrandizement and the Constriction of Self." Social Psychology Quarterly, 52:4 (Dec. 1989), 299-310.

Armstrong, Nancy. "Modernism's Iconophobia and What it Did to Gender." Modernism/Modernity 5.2 (1998) 47-75.

Baker, Thomas N.  Sentiment and Celebrity:  Nathaniel Parker Willis and the Trials of Literary Fame.  (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998).

Barney, Tim. "Celebrity, Spectacle, and the Conspiracy Culture of Election 2000," American Behavioral Scientist, 44.2 (Aug. 2001).

Barnum, Phineas Taylor. The Life of PT Barnum, Written by Himself. Intro by Terence Whalen.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.

Basil, Michael D. "Identification as a Mediator of Celebrity Effects." Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 40 (1996): 478-495.

Baty, S. Paige. American Monroe: The Making of a Body Politic. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

Blake, David Haven.  Walt Whitman and the Culture of American Celebrity, (New Haven: Yale UP, 2006).

__________. "Hollywood, Impersonation, and Presidential Celebrity in the 1990s," Hollywood's White House: The American Presidency in Film and History, ed. Peter C. Rollins and John E. O'Connor, (Lexington: UP Kentucky, 2003): 320-332.

__________. "Campbell McGrath and the Spectacle Society," Michigan Quarterly Review, (41:2) Spring 2002: 249-72.

__________.  "Public Dreams: Berryman, Celebrity, and the Culture of Confession," American Literary History 13:4 ( Winter 2001): 716-36.

Blonsky, Marshall. American Mythologies. New York: Oxford UP, 1992.

Boorstin, Daniel. The Image: A Guide to Pseudo Events in America. New York: Vintage, 1962, 1992 reprint. 

Braudy, Leo. The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History. New York: Oxford UP, 1986. Vintage reprint, 1997.

Briggs, Peter M.  "Laurence Sterne and Literary Celebrity in 1760."  The Age of Johnson 4 (1991): 251-73. 

Burns, Sarah. "Performing the Self" in Inventing the Modern Artist: Art and Culture in Gilded Age America.  New Haven: Yale UP, 1999: 221-246. 

Cary, Benedict.  "The Fame Motive," New York Times, August 22, 2006, Science Times, 1. 

Cawelti, John G. "The Writer as a Celebrity: Some Aspects of American Literature as Popular Culture." Studies in American Fiction, vol.5 (1977): 161-174.

Chancey, Jill R. "Diana Doubled: The Fairytale Princess and the Photographer" NWSA Journal 11.2 (1999): 163-175

Cherches, Peter.  Star Course: Popular Lectures and the Marketing of Celebrity in Nineteenth-Century America.  NYU Dissertation, May 1997.

Coombe, Rosemary J. "The Celebrity Image and Cultural Identity: Publicity Rights and the Subaltern Politics of Gender." Discourse 14 (Spring 1992): 59-88.

Cowen, Tyler. What Price Fame? Cambridge: Harvard, 2000.

Curnutt, Kirk. "Inside and Outside: Gertrude Stein on Identity, Celebrity and Authenticity". Journal of Modern Literature. 23:2 (Winter 1999/2000): 291-308.

DeAngelis, Michael.  Gay Fandom and Crossover StardomJames Dean, Mel Gibson, and Keanu Reeves.  Durham: Duke, 2002.

Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle.  Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith, New York: Zone Books, 1967, 1995.

Derounian-Stodola, Kathryn Zabelle.  “The Captive as Celebrity,” Lives out of Letters: Essays on American Literary Biography and Documentation ed. Robert D. Habich, Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2004: 65-92

Dixon, Wheeler Winston.  Disaster and Memory: Celebrity Culture and the Rise of Hollywood Cinema, New York: Columbia, 1999.

Dugdale, Timothy. "The Fan and (Auto)Biography: Writing the Self in the Stars." Journal of Mundane Behavior. 1,2 (June 2000).

Duvall, John N. "Baseball as Aesthetic Ideology: Cold War History, Race, and DeLillo's ‘Pafko at the Wall’" Modern Fiction Studies. 41.2 (1995).

Dyer, Richard.  Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society.  New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987.

__________. Stars. London: British Film Institute, 1998.

Einerson, Martha J. "Fame, Fortune, and Failure: Young Girls’ Moral Language Surrounding Popular Culture." Youth & Society 30 (1998): 241-257.

Ferris, Kerry O. "Through a Glass, Darkly: The Dynamics of Fan-Celebrity Encounters." Symbolic Interaction. 24 (2001): 25-47.

Fisher, Philip.  "Appearing and Disappearing in Public: Social Space in late Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture."  Harvard Studies 13 (1986), ed. Sacvan Bercovitch.

Fiske, John. "Madonna." Reading the Popular. Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1989: 95-113.

Flanagan, Mary. "Mobile Identities, Digital Stars, and Post Cinematic Selves." Wide Angle. 21.1 (1999). 77-93.

Flanzbaum, Hilene. "Surviving the Marketplace: Robert Lowell and the Sixties." The New England Quarterly. 48.1 (March 1995): 44-57.

Flatley, Jonathan. "Warhol Gives Good Face: Publicity and the Politics of Prosopopoeia." Pop Out: Queer Warhol. Eds. Jennifer Doyle, Jonathan Flatley, and Jose Esteban Munoz. Durham: Duke UP, 1996: 101-131.

Gabler, Neal.  Life The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality. New York: Vintage, 1998, rept. 2000

__________. Winchell: Gossip, Power, and the Culture of Celebrity.  New York: Vintage, 1995

Gamson, Joshua. Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America.  Berkeley: University of California, 1994. 

__________.  "Jessica Hahn, Media Whore: Sex Scandals and Female Publicity." Critical Studies in Media Communication 18:2 (June 2001). 

Giles, David.  Illusions of Immortality: A Psychology of Fame and Celebrity.  New York: St. Martin's, 2000. 

Glass, Loren. "’Nobody’s’ Renown: Plagiarism and Publicity in the Career of Jack London." American Literature. 71.3 (September 1999): 529-549.

__________ .   "Trademark Twain."  American Literary History.  13:4 (Winter 2001): 671-93.

______________.  Authors, Inc.  Literary Celebrity in the Modern United States, 1880-1980.  New York:  New York University Press, 2004.

Gledhill, Christine, editor.  Stardom: Industry of Desire.  London: Routledge, 1991.

Goble, Mark.  "Cameo Appearances; or, When Gertrude Stein Checks into Grand Hotel."  MLQ: Modern Language Quarterly 62:2 (June 2001). 117-63.

Goldman, Jonathan E.  Modernism is the Literature of Celebrity.  Austin: U of Texas P, 2011.

___________________.  "Extraordinary People: The Superhero Genre and Celebrity Culture in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."  In The Rise and Reason of Comics and Graphic Literature.  Ed. Joyce Goggin and Dan Hassler-Forrest.  MacFarland P, 2010.

___________________. "Double Exposure: Charlie Chaplin as Author and Celebrity." M/C Journal.  Special issue on Fame, ed. P. David Marshall.  7:5 (November 2004).

___________________.  "Joyce, the Propheteer."  Novel: A Forum on Fiction, 38.1 Spring 2004.  78-103.

Gross, Michael Joseph.  Starstruck: When A Fan Gets Close to Fame.  New York: Bloomsbury, 2005.

Harris, Neil.  Humbug: The Art of P.T. Barnum. Boston, MA: Little Brown and Co. 1973.

Horkheimer, Max and Theodor W. Adorno. "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception." Dialectic of Enlightenment. Trans. John Cumming, New York: Herder and Herder, 1944, 1972.

Jaffe, Aaron, and Jonathan Goldman, ed.  Modernist Star Maps: Celebrity, Modernity, Culture.  London: Ashgate, 2010.

Jaffe, Aaron.  Modernism and the Culture of Celebrity (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005).

____________.  "James Bond, The Brand."  Ian Fleming and James Bond: The Cultural Politics of 007. Eds. Comentale, Watt, and Willman (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2005).

____________.  "Adjectives and the Work of Modernism in an Age of Celebrity."  Yale Journal of Criticism 16.1 (Spring 2003): 1-37.

Johnson, Ronna.  "'You're Putting Me On': Jack Kerouac and the Postmodern Emergence"  College Literature 27:1 (Winter 2000)

Kaplan, Amy. "Edith Wharton’s Profession of Authorship." ELH. Vol. 53, Issue 2. (Summer, 1986). 433-457.

Kasson, Joy.  Buffalo Bill's Wild West: Celebrity, Memory, and Popular History.  New York: Hill and Wang, 2000

Landay, Lori, "Millions Love Lucy: Commodification and the Lucy Phenomenon" NWSA Journal 11.2 (Summer 1999). 25-47.

Lang, Gladys and Lang, Karl. "Recognition and Renown: the Survival of Artistic Reputation." American Journal of Sociology. 94. 1 (July 1998): 79-109.

Leets, Laura, Gavin de Becker, and Howard Giles. "Fans: Exploring Expressed Motivations for Contacting Celebrities." Journal of Language and Social Psychology. 14.1-2 (March 1995): 102-123.

Leff, Leonard J. Hemingway and His Conspirators: Hollywood, Scribners, and the Making of American Celebrity Culture. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1997.

Look, Hugh. "The Author as Star." Publishing Research Quarterly 15 (1999): 12-29.

Lowenthal, Leo. "The Triumph of Mass Idols" (1944). Literature, Popular Culture, and Society. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1961.

Mailer, Norman. Advertisements for Myself. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1992

Margolis, Stacey. "The Public Life: The Discourse of Privacy in the Age of Celebrity." Arizona Quarterly, 51:2 (Summer 1995): 81-101.

Marshall, P. David. Celebrity and Power: Fame in Contemporary Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997. 

________ .  "The Celebrity Legacy of the Beatles." The Beatles: Popular Music and Society: MacMillan Press Ltd., 2000. 163-175.

________ .  Editor of "Fame"  A Special Issue of M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture November 2004.

Mattick, Paul. "The Andy Warhol of Philosophy and the Philosophy of Andy Warhol." Critical-Inquiry. Chicago, IL. 24.2 (Summer 1998): 965-87.

McGrath, Campbell. "The Bob Hope Poem." Spring Comes to Chicago. Hopewell, NJ: Ecco, 1996. 

Moran, Joe.  Star Authors: Literary Celebrity in America.  London: Pluto Press, 2000.

Newbury, Michael. "Eaten Alive: Slavery and Celebrity in Antebellum America." ELH 61.1 (1994). 159-187.

Norton, Anne. Republic of Signs: Liberal Theory and American Popular Culture. Chicago: U Chicago Press, 1993.

O’Donnell, Heather. "Stumbling on Henry James." The Henry James Review 21.3 (2000): 234-241.

Pattanaik, Dipti R. "‘The Holy Refusal’: A Vedantic Interpretation of J.D. Salinger’s Silence." MELUS 23.2 (Summer 1998): 113-27.

Raeburn, John. "Ernest Hemingway: The Public Writer as Popular Culture." Journal of Popular Culture 8.1 (1974): 91-98.

Rein, Irving J., Philip Kotler, and Martin Stoller.  High Visibility: The Making and Marketing of Professionals into Celebrities. Chicago: NTC Business Books, 1997.

Robbins, Bruce W. "Celeb-Reliance: Intellectuals, Celebrity, and Upward Mobility." Post Modern Culture. 9:2 (1999)

Rojek, Chris.  Celebrity (London: Reaktion, 2001)

Rubey, Dan. "Voguing at the Carnival: Desire and Pleasure on MTV." South Atlantic Quarterly 90.4 (Spring 1997): 871-906.

Schickel, Richard. Intimate Strangers: The Culture of Celebrity. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1985.

Schmitt, Raymond L. and Leonard, Wilbert M. "Immortalizing the Self Through Sport." American Journal of Sociology, 91:5 (Mar. 1986): 1088-1111.

Sexton, Anne. "The Freak Show" (1973). No Evil Star: Selected Essays, Interviews, and Prose. Ed. Steven E. Colburn. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1985: 33-38.

Silver, Brenda.  Virginia Woolf Icon (Chicago, U of Chicago P, 1999).

Smart, Judith. "The Evangelist as Star: The Billy Graham Crusade in Australia, 1959." Journal of Popular Culture. 33.1 (1999): 165-175.

Stacey, Jackie. Star Gazing: Hollywood Cinema and Female Spectatorship.  New York: Routledge, 1994.

Till, Brian and Shimp, Terrence. "Endorsers in Advertising-The Case of Negative Celebrity Information." Journal of Advertising. 27:1 (1998): 67-83.

Tomc, Sandra. "An Idle Industry: Nathaniel Parker Willis and the Workings of Literary Leisure." American Quarterly 49.4 (1997): 780-805.

Troy, Gil. "JFK: Celebrity-In-Chief or Commander-In-Chief?" Reviews in American History 26.3 (1998): 630-636.

Turner, Graehm.  Understanding Celebrity (Sage, 2004).

Wall, David S. "Policing Elvis: Legal Action and Shaping of Post--Mortem Celebrity Culture as Contested Space,"  Entertainment Law 2:3 (2003): 35-69.  Reprinted in The Entertainment and Sports Law Journal 2:3. (Click for full article)

Walsh, Chris. "Stardom Is Born: The Religion and Economy of Publicity in Henry James' The Bostonians." American Literary Realism. Spring 1997: 15-25.

Wicke, Jennifer. "Celebrity Material: Materialist Feminism and the Culture of Celebrity." Feminism, the Public and the Private. Ed. Joan B. Landes. New York: Oxford UP, 1998.

Williams, Jeff. Editor "Academostars" a special issue of The Minnesota Review, 2001. 

Williamson, Catherine.  "Swimming Pools, Movie Stars: The Celebrity Body in the Post-War Marketplace."  Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture and Media Studies 38 (1996): 5-30.

Wilson, Cintra.  A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-Examined as a Grotesque, Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations.  New York: Viking, 2000. 

Young, S. Mark and Drew Pinsky, "Celebrity and Narcissism," Journal of Research in Personality (October 2006): 463-471

Zengotita, Thomas de. "Celebrity, Irony, and You." The Nation. 2 December 1996: 15-18.


                                                             Updated by David Blake, 10 January 2007


Know any sources that should be listed here?  Please contact me at  blake at


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