Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Celebrity Cultures in Canada

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Celebrity Cultures in Canada

Article excerpt

Katja Lee and Lorraine York (eds), Celebrity Cultures in Canada (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016), 285 pp. Paper. $34.99. ISBN 978-1-77112-222-1.

In their introduction, Lee and York assert that 'some of the(se) assumptions about what constitutes celebrity continue to be mobilized as reasons for disregarding the labour of Canadians in the field of celebrity culture' (p. 10), and go on to explain how they have used the term 'stardom' interchangeably with 'celebrity' as they find it more wholesome for the diverse range of practices it covers. In this primer, meant for exploring how celebrity operates within Canada, the focus is on the notion that it is the dominant discourse operating within the confines of the nation, which still controls the materialistic conditions of production. It is also responsible for controlling the hegemonic forces which propagate certain agendas, sometimes leading to identity formation and promoting a certain type of Canadianness that goes along with it; as is, for example, discussed in the essay on Canada's major poetry prizes.

The volume comprises 11 essays, and a foreword by P. David Marshall, whose work on celebrity culture is quite well renowned. He endorses the collection and compliments the nuanced understanding of its editors and authors, in especially how the 'book provides material and research that can both substantiate and refute some of the claims that I and others have made about celebrity in Canada' (p. ix). This interdisciplinary volume covers a range of topics across markers of class, gender, sexualities, race and disability. …

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