Sharon Marcus

presents

The Drama of Celebrity

in conversation with JOSEPH REZEK

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jul
31
Wednesday
July 31, 2019
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning author and editor SHARON MARCUS—Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University—for a discussion of her latest book, The Drama of Celebrity. She will be joined in conversation by JOSEPH REZEK, Director of Graduate Studies in English at Boston University.

About The Drama of Celebrity

Why do so many people care so much about celebrities? Who decides who gets to be a star? What are the privileges and pleasures of fandom? Do celebrities ever deserve the outsized attention they receive?

In this fascinating and deeply researched book, Sharon Marcus challenges everything you thought you knew about our obsession with fame. Icons are not merely famous for being famous; the media alone cannot make or break stars; fans are not simply passive dupes. Instead, journalists, the public, and celebrities themselves all compete, passionately and expertly, to shape the stories we tell about celebrities and fans. The result: a high-stakes drama as endless as it is unpredictable.

Drawing on scrapbooks, personal diaries, and vintage fan mail, Marcus traces celebrity culture back to its nineteenth-century roots, when people the world over found themselves captivated by celebrity chefs, bad-boy poets, and actors such as the “divine” Sarah Bernhardt (1844–1923), as famous in her day as the Beatles in theirs. Known in her youth for sleeping in a coffin, hailed in maturity as a woman of genius, Bernhardt became a global superstar thanks to savvy engagement with her era’s most innovative media and technologies: the popular press, commercial photography, and speedy new forms of travel.

Whether you love celebrity culture or hate it, The Drama of Celebrity will change how you think about one of the most important phenomena of modern times.

Praise for The Drama of Celebrity

"With prismatic clarity based on authoritative scholarship, The Drama of Celebrity refracts the dazzling light of star power into its constituent colors. Scores of celebrities, past and present, share the limelight, but the exemplary Sarah Bernhardt, golden-voiced queen of the unforgettable gesture, commands center stage throughout Sharon Marcus's field-defining and compellingly readable book." ―Joseph Roach, author of The Player’s Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting and It 

"A landmark book for the history of popular culture. Combining a rigorous analytical intelligence with deep, meticulous research into neglected sources such as fan scrapbooks, Marcus demonstrates how the nineteenth-century theater set the mold for celebrity culture today. A brilliant, transformative account of the way that celebrity works." ―Deborah Cohen, author of Family Secrets: Shame and Privacy in Modern Britain

"One of the great strengths of The Drama of Celebrity is its insistence―and proof―that the forms of celebrity and fandom we consider so modern go back at least to the middle of the nineteenth century. It is the fans who emerge as the stars of this book.” ―Eric Smoodin, University of California, Davis

Joseph Rezek
Joseph Rezek

Joseph Rezek

Joseph Rezek is the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English, and an associate professor of English, at Boston University. He specializes in early and nineteenth-century American literature, British Romanticism, early black Atlantic literature, transatlantic studies, the history of race and racism, and the history of the book.

Sharon Marcus
Sharon Marcus

Sharon Marcus

Sharon Marcus is the Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She is a founding editor of Public Books and the author of the award-winning Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England and Apartment Stories: City and Home in Nineteenth-Century Paris and London.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

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FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

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