Hero and Hero-Worship: Stardom/Fandom in Modern India
Stars are everywhere but in the sky: on the roads, in the streets, even in the bedrooms and bathrooms. On(in) magazines, posters, hoardings, newspapers, televisions, apps, the stars are covered to entertain and influence masses. It seems that stars have ceased to remain humans in neoliberal technocratic society we live in: they are transformed into capitalist investments and consumer brands to make millions out of images. They are (to be) consumed and enjoyed as men use and enjoy objects. Despite being no more than an image which is nothing, they wield enormous control over the lives of their users like things we consume have over us. And fans? Fans are those who follow stars everywhere like the earth goes after the sun and form their own systems of (dis)identification which is called fandom.
Within academics, rationale for studying the stars/fans comes from the concern that the stars reflect symptoms of a society i. e. they are social phenomena. Further, stars operate within a linguistic code—as they cannot exist outside language which also reveals cultural codes of the society. Thus, the semiotics of star-fandom is also inseparably linked to its political economy which offers the star-fan studies an avenue to engage with the public sphere of that society.
This book proposes to examine star/fan studies in India which seems to have experienced exponential expansion in the aftermath of liberalisation of Indian economy in 1991. The areas the book envisions to explore are political, religious, filmic and cricket star-fandoms. The book proposes to analyse the rise of star formations and their consequent fandoms, star-fan bonds/collisions, physical and virtual space that stars/fans inhabit.
The Editors invite original interdisciplinary submissions from multiple perspectives between 5000 and 7000 words on any aspect of stardom and fandom in India, which shall be soon published in a book by a reputed International publisher. A brief proposal of not more than 300 words must reach to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by 15th February 2017. The deadline for submission of full length paper is 31st March 2017.Topics might include but are not limited to :
- Stars: Production, Circulation, and Consumption
- Star formation, neoliberal regimes and globalisation
- Star as a Value System
- Star as a Sign
- Stars as Social Types
- Individual stars and their fans
- Caste and Religion of Political Stars in India
- The Saint-ed Stars and Religious Fandoms
- Sporting Corporate Stardom and Neo-religious Fandom
- Fanwars: Political Economy of Anti-star Campaigns
- Dating in the Digital World: Star-Fan Meetings on Web
- Fandom as Enjoyment
- Virtual Stardom
- Intellectual Celebrity
Anita Singh, Banaras Hindu University, India
Rahul Chaturvedi, Banaras Hindu University, India
Nirmal Kumar, University of Delhi, India
Hariom Singh, GDC, Uttar Pradesh, India