Comebacks, Cameos, and Camp: The Return of the Aging Star

Ed. collection, 15. October 2021.

deadline for submissions: October 1, 2021

contact email: gloriamonti@gmail.com

Comebacks, Cameos, and Camp: The Return of the Aging Star

This anthology offers the first-ever in-depth analysis of instances in which popular cinema recasts stars from an earlier generation — stars whose careers have faded, and yet who remain immediately recognizable to viewers everywhere—sometimes in leading roles, but also in supporting or cameo roles. This practice succeeds in being both self-referential (pointing toward the status of the representation as just that, representation) and intertextual (using an actor in a role that echoes or contradicts earlier performances) relocating the text in question into a larger pantheon of cinema history. Please note, this anthology is not about career overviews, rather it is about how the work of older stars reflects or diverges from their past iconic roles.

This collection brings together essays written by historians, theorists, and critics from disciplines across the humanities and social sciences spectra on the topic of the reappearance of “faded” stars in films from around the world. From Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard (Wilder, US 1950) to Yvonne Sanson in Il conformista (Bertolucci, Italy 1970) and Marlene Dietrich in Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo (Hemmings, West Germany 1978), films that feature well-known stars from the past foreground issues related to growing older, both in the entertainment industry and in everyday life, while also opening up avenues for the discussion and analysis of media and cultural history/histories from new or multiple perspectives. The approach of this collection is highly interdisciplinary; its scope is global. As such, it will provide both a valuable research tool to scholars working in media and cultural studies, and an informative resource to those with a passionate interest in cinema and film culture.

This anthology offers the first-ever in-depth analysis of instances in which popular cinema recasts stars from an earlier generation — stars whose careers have faded or perhaps vanished, and yet who remain, despite this, immediately recognizable to viewers everywhere—sometimes in leading roles, but also in supporting or cameo roles. This practice succeeds in being both self-referential (pointing toward the status of the representation as just that, representation) and intertextual (using an actor in a role that echoes or contradicts earlier performances) relocating the text in question into a larger pantheon of cinema history. Please note, this anthology is not about career overviews, rather it is about how the work of older stars reflects or diverges from their past iconic roles.

This collection brings together essays written by historians, theorists, and critics from disciplines across the humanities and social sciences spectra on the topic of the reappearance of “faded” stars in films from around the world. From Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard (Wilder, US 1950) to Yvonne Sanson in Il conformista (Bertolucci, Italy 1970) and Marlene Dietrich in Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo (Hemmings, West Germany 1978), films that feature well-known stars from the past foreground issues related to growing older, both in the entertainment industry and in everyday life, while also opening up avenues for the discussion and analysis of media and cultural history/histories from new or multiple perspectives. The approach of this collection is highly interdisciplinary; its scope is global. As such, it will provide both a valuable research tool to scholars working in media and cultural studies, and an informative resource to those with a passionate interest in cinema and film culture.

Deadline for abstracts (400-450 words): 15 October 2021
 
Deadline for final papers (6000-7,000 words): 15 February 2022
 
Please, submit a brief CV with your abstract to: Gloria Monti (gloriamonti@gmail.com)
 

Obtaining publication permission (for both print and online publications) for images is the author’s responsibility, and the cost of obtaining these images and rights are his/her responsibility as well.