London, United Kingdom

The Cult of Celebrity: Mass Media and Idolatry in the Digital Age

when 17 June 2017 - 8 July 2017
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 10 EC
fee GBP 1515

The class aims to provide students with the understanding that the current media obsession with ‘celebrities’ is not a 21st century phenomenon but a social need that has occurred throughout the ages. Students will explore the role of the celebrity from Helen of Troy via Lord Byron and Lillie Langtry to Oscar Wilde and, more recently, Princess Diana, and the Beckhams. They will understand when and why the cult of celebrity flourishes as well as being able to analyse how and why publications with different target audiences report on the same celebrity (in word and images) to appeal to their readership. Students will be able to identify news or features that are generated by public relations offices/press agent hacks. They will learn how to conduct successful interviews as well as analyse how and why journalists use interviews to manipulate public opinion about public figures.

Target group

Students with an IELTS score of 6.0 or higher

Course aim

By the end of the class, students are expected to be able to:
demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the history of ‘celebrity’ and the role it has played in shaping cultural values;
explore and dismantle the social construct of ‘celebrity’ and analyse its interrelation (in Britain or America) with the media and wider society in the past century;
analyse the ways in which various media publications project the idea of ‘celebrity’ in light of their target audiences;
draft and assess celebrity interviews and features for a specified target audience.

Credits info

10 EC
Each Summer School module is worth 20 UK credits (10 ECTS).
Official Transcripts are provided at the end of the course.

Fee info

GBP 1515: Tuition fee per session.
GBP : At the time of application, students have the opportunity to select from accommodation at two of the University of Westminster's centrally located Halls of Residence, as well as joining a comprehensive Social Programme including evening events in London, and weekend trips throughout the UK.
Prices vary and are available in full detail on our website.