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Dear members
Please see below for a call for papers for a Special Edition of Celebrity Studies, edited by Prof John Mercer.
Many thanks

Call for Papers: Special Edition of Celebrity Studies, edited by John Mercer
“Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent”: RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Cultural Politics of Fame
RuPaul’s Drag Race, recently completing a tenth season on VH1, has become a popular culture phenomenon, broadcasting drag into the homes of middle America , spawning spin off shows (Drag Race All Stars and Drag Race Thailand) merchandising campaigns and annual Drag Con events. The show’s success has made international stars of its host, guest judges and contestants alike. This special edition of Celebrity Studies will explore the connections between drag stardom and contemporary sexual and cultural politics that Drag Race stages and dramatizes.
Alumni of Drag Race have gone on to launch music careers, (Adore Delano and Sharon Needles) and model for Vivienne Westwood and Perry Ellis, (Milk). Violet Chachki is the first drag model to become the face of Bettie Page Lingerie whilst others have achieved success as touring performers (Jinkx Monsoon and Bianca Del Rio). In 2017 RuPaul was named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
Above everything else Drag Race is a show about celebrating the glamour, artifice and labour of fame. Contestants impersonate celebrities in the perennially popular ‘Snatch Game’ challenge and the show’s marketing strapline draws audiences into the search for ‘America’s next drag superstar’. Whilst Drag Race has already attracted scholarly attention (Brennan & Gudelunas eds. 2017) the relationships between gender, sexuality, performance, identity and celebrity culture that lie at the heart of its dynamic and appeal remain to be explored.
This special ‘Extravaganza Eleganza’ edition of Celebrity Studies, edited by John Mercer aims to tackle these issues and we are seeking essays of between 7 to 8000 words that address celebrity as part of the Drag Race phenomenon.
Topics that the essays may address include:
• RuPaul’s celebrity status
• Analyses of specific drag queens 
• Judges, judgement and the judging of fame in Drag Race
• Drag Race Fandom, Drag Con events and the marketing of Drag stardom
• Social media, Instagram and the construction of drag celebrity
• Drag performance, ‘talent’ and celebrity
• ‘Werk’: drag, celebrity and labour
• Drag Race celebrity and the logic of neoliberalism
Please send proposals of 300 words including a title, abstract and contact details to [log in to unmask] by 3rd September 2018

John Mercer
Professor of Gender and Sexuality
Birmingham City University
Room MP 345
The Parkside Building
5 Cardigan Street
B4 7BD
+44 121 331 5719
[log in to unmask]


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