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Nicola Vinovrški & Robert van Krieken: New Directions in the History of Celebrity: Case Studies and Critical Perspectives. [Abstract]

This paper provides an introduction and overview for this special issue’s collection of important new work in the history of celebrity. It sets the scene by explaining the main difficulties that have beset the development of a historiography of the very contemporaneous phenomenon of celebrity. A key issue is how one understands the historical emergence of the “public sphere,” and how confident one should be that the historical narrative concerning the public sphere and celebrity should begin in the 18th century, rather than in earlier periods. It outlines what is particularly significant and innovative about the contributions to this special issue, and draws out their implications for the ever-expanding scope of the history of celebrity.

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