Beyoncé Debate 2016 Press Release

Posted on Jun 19, 2016


Toronto, ON (27 June, 2016) – Are public responses to Beyoncé feminism as politically daring as some of her performances are? While many media scholars, critics, and journalists have problematized her feminism, especially in relation to her recent album Lemonade, there is necessity for reading her cultural productions in celebrity feminism and debunk political correctedness in the marketing of her feminist views.

What is the media missing?

Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) hosts an exclusive conference roundtable ‘Beyoncé Debate’. You will be joining the Chair Jackie Raphael and key speakers Kirsty Fairclough–Isaacs,  Louise St Guillaume, Annelot Prins, and Kelly M. O’Donnell for the discussion in Barcelona on July 5, 2016. The roundtable will be held prior to the awards for best media and celebrity studies paper and Celebrity Chat video.

Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Performance and International Lead for the Americas in The School of Arts and Media at The University of Salford, UK.  Kirsty received her MA in Screen Studies from the University of Manchester and a PhD on feminist theory and celebrity culture from The University of Salford. She regularly works with a number of cultural organisations and networks including Salford International Media Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Home, The National Media Museum and Cofilmic and has strong links in the UK comedy industry. Her leadership in the recent launch of Women in Film and Television Network North and The Hunting Ground screening/ Q and A with Emmy award winning director Kirby Dick has established significant links between academic and media industries. Kirsty is a member of the editorial board of the international journal Celebrity Studies (Routledge) and is currently a guest editor of the special issue “Fame-inism: Feminism and Global Celebrity Culture.” She has appeared on BBC Radio 4, Channel 4 News, and Al Jazeera among others.

Louise St Guillaume completed her PhD at the University of Notre Dame (Sydney campus) in the discipline of Sociology in 2015. Her PhD, The Same but Different, focused on how people with disability are governed in recent social policy changes to the income support system and the disability care and support system in Australia. Louise has recently worked as an Associate Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences, University of Notre Dame (Sydney campus). Louise is the 2011 winner of the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies e-journal essay competition (non-Indigenous submission) and she was awarded a Summer Scholarship at the Federal Parliamentary Library in 2014. Louise’s research has generally sought to draw attention to the way in which people with disability and Indigenous Australians are governed through mechanisms which could be considered unjust. Her most recent work considers the role of celebrity activism and media in portraying people with disability and how this impacts on a rights discourse.

Annelot Prins is a graduate student of the two masters Literary Studies and Comparative Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam, NL. Last year, she wrote her first master thesis in which she theorized Beyoncé’s star text from an intersectional point of view. Currently, she is writing her second master thesis in which she compares the articulations of white female sexuality in the oeuvres of Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Her research is grounded in feminist theory and celebrity studies, and mostly focuses on American popular music. She is especially interested in the intersections between popular music, gender, sexuality, and race. Annelot has discussed her findings at conferences in the United States, Ireland, Hungary and the Netherlands. She has been interviewed about her research on the Dutch radio, and discussed her conclusions during public events where Beyoncé’s work was topic of discussion.

Kelly M. O’Donnell is a second year MA student in Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She was a finalist for the Mary E. Jarrard Graduate Paper Award at the 2015 Carolinas Communication Association Conference and an updated version of the paper titled will appear in Working Papers on Language and Diversity in Education journal in August 2016. She is a co-author of a book chapter for Truth in the Public Sphere, which is under review at the publisher. She won the John Andrew and Margaret E. Robinson Fellowship for the 2016-2017 school year. Her research focuses on communication activism pedagogy, critical pedagogy, feminism and social media, and political communication.

CMCS­­­ is the only international organization that specializes in media and celebrity studies. It facilitates academic and media partnerships to develop commentaries on fame and social change. For information on the conference program, visit or contact conference chairs Jackie Raphael and Celia Lam at

For title sponsorship, media interviews, and high resolution images contact CMCS Director
Samita Nandy at or call 416-985-8887 with your name, title, the media you represent, and your telephone number.

For all press inquiries, please download and review the CMCS Media Kit.

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