• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, History, Literature, Film

‘Celebrity: An Unauthorised History’ points a telephoto lens at one of modernity’s most mesmerising and perplexing cultural phenomena: stardom. The course begins and ends in London. We will open in the eighteenth century, when David Garrick, first superstar of the theatre, is treading the boards. The curtain closes in 1997, when the late Princess Diana is became the focus for a world in mourning. Between those two points, this course will drive a wide arc through the interrelated worlds of politics and entertainment, reflecting on forms of celebrity in diverse cultures and contexts. Drawing from historian Fred Inglis' argument that celebrity is a ‘product of culture and technology’, an ‘adhesive’ that pulls together ‘public politics, civil society, and private domestic life’, this journey through the history of celebrity will track the rise of individualism, consumerism, the arrival of mass media and the emerging impact of digital formats and social media. The course shows that celebrity—and our preoccupation with it—reveals much about our society and even more about ourselves.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the factors shaping the cultural phenomenon of celebrity and its iterations over an extended period of history;
  2. explain the influence or impact of those factors and the areas and periods of change associated with them;
  3. assess a range of historiographical approaches to 'celebrity', and to related areas of social and political change;
  4. demonstrate research skills in working with a diversity of historical and secondary sources; and
  5. construct an evidence-based historical argument in a form suitable to its purpose and target audience.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Document Exercise, 1000 words (20%) Learning outcomes 1-5 (20) [LO null]
  2. Essay, 2500 words (40%) Learning outcomes 1-5 (40) [LO null]
  3. Tutorial Participation (10%) Learning outcomes 1-3, 5 (10) [LO null]
  4. Online quiz (10%) Learning outcomes 1, 2 (10) [LO null]
  5. Final open book examination, held during the exam period (20%) Learning outcomes 1-3, 5 (20) [LO null]

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Workload

130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 36 units of ANU courses towards a degree, or with the permission of the convenor.

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
14
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $4980
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3626 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 In Person N/A

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