Highlights of latest conference are here.

David Marshall

The ability to connect directly with the entire group, both individually and collectively. Great work! Engaged and fun. Keep building the quality. Celia + Jackie were wonderful hosts.

Sally Totman

The variety of topics / case studies. Thank you. It was a very enjoyable, interesting and well organized conference.

Nathan Farrell

The smaller setting. Parallel sessions mean difficult decisions about what sessions to miss. Its good that we were able to see ALL sessions. It was great!

Alexander Araya

Nothing like a conference about “celebrity” to discover that you have been promoting yourself in all the wrong ways. @celeb_studies #BGCS16 

Great discussions and networking. Sessions were really organized and with lost of points in common. Great work.

Ron Strickland

Lots of interesting papers – no concurrent sessions – I learned a lot.

A friendly group. My congratulations to the organizers. You did a very nice job!

Tomasz Olczyk

@celeb_studies Great conference, inspiring papers, and we won chocolates #BGCS16

Small, intimate, lot occasions to communicate

Louise St Guillaume

The small size of the conference + the opportunity to chat + get to know everyone; the interdisciplinarity. It was intimate and thought-provoking.

@JackieRaphael @celialamyc @celeb_studies Thank you for organising such a great conference! Looking forward to the next one #BGCS16

Great day @celeb_studies #BGCS16! Looking forward to tomorrow!

Diana-Luiza Dumitriu ‏  

Day 3: Broadening the celebrity spectrum @celeb_studies #BGCS16 Great presentations and engaging discussions! Networking and feedback. This was a great conference; Insightful and engaging discussions. Really enjoyed the high interdiciplinarity of the presentations!

Marie Bennett ‏  

#BGCS16 Great day. Some fascinating papers on a wide yet connected range of topics.

Very enjoyable conference – great venue

Carla Rovavert

The fantastic range of talks, particularly those that explored neoliberalism

Well done on a great conference!

Ronak Ghorbani

Intimacy! Getting to know people – something often missing from conferences. I really enjoyed the cross-disciplinarity of the conference

Having a workshop for grad students on publishing would be fantastic! Thank you for all your hard work and organizing!

Niloy Ulusoy

Quiz night 🙂 All presentations were fine for me to learn much about celebrity studies

Annelot Prins

The size of the group! Really liked the variation! Thank you so much for organizing this conference and for inviting me!!!!

Walter Chan

Diversity of ideas presented.  Thanks for such an awesome conference! Good job!

Josh Nathan
Professor, The Art Institute of Colorado

Leonardo DiCaprio introduces a new award-winning documentary by filmmaker Veronica Grey at America’s first conference of the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) in NYC 9/2-9/3. I am truly honored to join as a panelist along with Shetal Shah, Shannon Skinner, Dr Samita Nandy, and Dr. Jackie Raphael: https://lnkd.in/btT8RTZ. I’ll also present a new academic paper about the Implications of Journalism’s Tall Tales on a Telling Public. Here’s some GREAT additional information about the conference, and DiCaprio’s introduction, from the Centre’s Chairs: https://lnkd.in/bEin6mV” New York City 2015

Is a stunning hit as America’s first int’l conference on celebrity culture: Bridging Gaps!

Phenomenal people and presentations here

Douglas Machado Silva
Professor, Faculdade Estácio de Sá de Juiz de Fora

thank you so much! the conference was amazing!

Rebecca Halliday
PhD candidate, York University

Fantastic roster of papers on diverse + interesting topics

Elina Valovirta
Lecturer, University of Turku, Finland

Discussions, friendly atmosphere, 15-minute format, everything worked well: so well organized!

Thank you for everything!

Andrew Munro
Lecturer, Griffith University

The diversity of backgrounds & perspectives

The range of themes is great

Elliot Pill
Cardiff University

Big thanks to celeb_studies @famecritic @JackieRaphael for a super interesting and thought provoking conference in #NYC #greatjob

Ellen G. Kempler
Writer and Founder, Gold Boat Journeys

@celeb_studies You’ve got an interesting angle on writing. Happy creative travels from Gold Boat Journeys

Michael Lovelock
PhD candidate, University of East Anglia

Thanks to @celeb_studies @samita_nandy and Louis for a very interesting and inspiring conference in Toronto! Wide range of interesting papers, practical and relevant topic

Colin Scheyen
Founder, Beyond Media Literacy

So inspiring to meet and share knowledge with everyone at Bridging Gap: Higher Education, Media and Society conference #BGCS15 #Ryerson

Chuck Carney
Director of Communication and Marketing for the School of Global and International Studies, Indian University

Great variety of fields, topics

Averie MacDonald
Independent scholar / writer

The interactive aspects / workshops – time for organized discussion! This was so unique and wonderful. Thank you for including all kinds of diverse voices, including  several young people / emerging academics. CONTINUE THIS!!!

Jacquelyn Cain
PhD candidate, York University

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your great (and important) conference. I came away with lots of ‘food for thought’ for my own studies, and was also introduced to communities of practice that I would never have encountered in my ‘isolated’ academic community that is Film Studies. I especially liked how much the talks focused on the future of pedagogy–the platforms for intellectual dialogue are changing, but the impetus behind them remains the same! 

Stephanie Patrick
PhD candidate, University of Ottawa

“Great first day at Bridging Gaps conference in #Toronto. Looking forward to day two!”

“Thanks to panelists @royalhistorian @FromPhDtoLife @samita_nandy and @Shannon_Skinner for their media workshops! #BGCS15″

Shannon Skinner
Broadcaster, Extraordinary Women TV and VoiceAmerica

“Great #conference and #media workshop today with @FromPhDtoLife @royalhistorian and @samita_nandy #BGCS15″

Jennifer Polk
PhD Coach, From PhD to Life

“Looking fwd to #BGCS15 today! Part of a panel/workshop w @samita_nandy @royalhistorian @Shannon_Skinner. Fun! Higher ed & media #

Nathan To
PhD, CMCS delegate

Interesting conference on bridging gaps in higher ed, media & society. Now: How best to leverage media issues in #? #bgcs15 Quite enjoyed the “open mic” session. More would be great!

Herman Howard
Chair, Communication and Mass Media Department, Angelo State University

Thank you – I enjoyed the conference in Toronto

The different speakers and topics

Alex Symons
University of Hartford and Sacred Heart University

Engaging papers, small venue (location!)

Well organized, fun event!

Robert S. E. Caine
Author, Teaching Compassion

“I always had a concept of what a celebrity is — a famous person created by the entertainment industry. However, Dr. Samita Nandy’s assertion that a celebrity is not  actually a person, but a concept or persona of what the “public” wishes to see as an entity to idolize, seems to have merit. Celebrity or the concept of celebrity is quite complex; celebrity status is actually created by movie/television studios, creative arts directors, agents of the film/entertainment industry, media outlets, and of course, public relations specialists. Where upon an individual or entity is made public, created as a source of entertainment or envy, the general public indoctrinates this person or entity as a celebrity image — this is a complex dynamic of a community/society, in concert, evolving an individual as someone to be placed on a pedestal, namely, as a public figure to be idolized and loved by many.    The “celebrity” status disconnects the iconic symbol from their individualistic self, segregating them from their real and personal life experiences outside of their celebrity persona, and places the highly recognised “idol” or “star” in a spotlight whereby they endure the eyes of the public; their faux image — the persona that has been forced onto them by admirers, has now developed from the pressures and expectations of their “public,”  resulting in the icon’s life emerging involuntarily transparent when in public view.  In essence, many so-called celebrities live double lives: their private life with private relationships, private triumphs and failures, and private thoughts and feelings, as well as their public lives thrust upon them by their gushing fans — hence, the celebrity image or persona for which they obtained as an unwritten obligation as a by-product of their acquired fame is inescapable.”

Ana Albuquerque
Faculty of Arts and Letters – University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Selfies in Celebrity Activism: Persona in Celebrity Photography and Social Justice presented by Dr. Samita Nandy (CMCS, from Toronto, Canada) was a powerful, dynamic and intellectually enriching lecture. There was a clear approach to what a persona is and what a celebrity is, the semiotic role of the self-portrait, the meaning of authenticity in celebrities and how their image can be used. Tabloids often make headlines with celebrities on their daily lives, their personal affairs, where they went to and with whom, but to a lesser extent on their role in “social advocacy”, “political lobbying” or “supporting causes” for example. More than an issue of fascination for image, people engage emotionally with the characters / personas / celebrities. When they become (more) real and their image is more than a face on the screen or on the red carpet, or the advertising of their professional roles, they also become individuals, citizens taking an active role in society, often using “selfies”. But attention will always be on their image, which suggests an emotional diversity and indefinition.

It was an honour having Dr. Samita Nandy at the University of Beira Interior. She is a generous person with very clear and clarifying views and at the same time she makes us think and ask questions. In a personal note, her lecture led my attention to the importance of Art History in today’s technological self-portrait, mainly achieved through the “selfie” phenomenon. And while I was writing, I questioned myself: Do celebrities want or ever be able to be, as Pulp sings, “common people”?

Thank you so much, Dr. Samita Nandy.

You always be welcomed.

International Conference “Public and Private in Mobile Communications”, March 19th-20th 2015, Faculty of Arts and Letters – University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal.

Jeanie Tran
Ryerson University

“Yesterday, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Samita Nandy, the founder of the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies. I am currently working on an opinion piece about celebrity representation in journalism, and Samita’s expertise on the subject matter was incredibly helpful. She challenged me to reassess my own perception of what the culture of celebrity means and how it functions. “A celebrity is a media text… paparazzi, red carpets, glamorous dresses, limousines – these are the signs that connote the meaning of glamour and fame.”

Samita also got me to rethink my role and responsibility as a journalist in relation to how I should go about covering celebrity stories. In the mass media, performers are commodities used to generate profit. Samita emphasized that there is a more meaningful way to cover celebrity. She stressed the importance of incorporating critical interpretation, providing context, and treating celebrity culture as a platform for addressing larger social issues.

I’m very glad to have found out about the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies. They are a great resource for expertise and materials related to the fields of media, communication and cultural studies. I’m grateful for Samita for having shared her knowledge with me, and for getting me to think more deeply about all the systems at work beneath the glam and glitz”

Emmanuel Lopez 
Motivational Speaker (www.motivatorman.com)

“Congrats Samita on a fantastic event last night! I had a great time doing my motivational talk and also enjoyed your presentation! Super audience too. And excited we were interviewed for Urban Television! Feeling SO GOOD this morning!

What a fantastic evening of inspiring talks, soulful dances, warm-hearted people and delicious foods!!! Thank you Samita and everyone involved! It was an honor to be a speaker that this special event.”

Nidhi Shrivastava
University of Western Ontario, London

It was a pleasure to be there and become part of such an event with awesome and empowering presenters”

 Vaughn Berkeley
Eternity Watch Magazine

“Just wanted to say congratulations on a great event and a warm thanks to everyone Jenny met last night. Jenny, publisher of EternityWatch Magazine, is looking forward to connecting with folk in 2014.”

Imran Noor Mohammed
Limitless Productions

“CONGRATS! A lovely evening of courageous vulnerability and fierce resilience through embodied storytelling, personal journey reflections and the sharing of learned lessons along the way!” 

Ashima Suri
Limitless Productions

“Thank you so much dear Samita for a beautiful evening! It was truly an honor to be part of this amazing night. Absolutely loved the energy from the presenters and guests. Hugs!!! Xx”

Heryka Miranda
Brock University

“Such an awesome night with reaffirmation of some simple but profound truths of life and how to live it, love vs fame, breakout performance that condensed a lifetime into minutes (Samita Nandy) and emotional performances that creep upon you and take over before you realize it was your own story (Ashima Suri) and of course good food!” 

Rosey G-w

“Last night , I couldnt help feel like I walked away empowered and informed. Thank you to all the panelists for sharing your personal journeys with us and Samita your performance was sensual, emotional, and deep!”

Laila Plavins

“The event was a pleasant refresher for self realization and reminder to ‘be’.that change I wish to make in the world. ENJOYED !”

Ravi Kumar 

“Great Institution involved in advancing the Study of Media & Celebrity Culture.”

“Amazing Presenters & Relevant topics…BLESSINGS”

Freshta Gak

“Thankful to have been part of an empowering, soulful and creative evening….wish you continued love and success”