The Daily Deac is on a break this week, but wanted to share with you some news we’d heard about a new minor to be offered at Wake Forest. Details below.
MINOR IN CELEBRITY STUDIES (CEL)
Wake Forest is creating a new minor in celebrity studies, effective Fall 2014. Through this minor, students are encouraged to take advantage of their knowledge and creativity in navigating social media and internet sources to determine the value of celebrities in their own lives as well as in Western culture. A minor in celebrity studies, coupled with any major within the College or the School of Business, is designed to encourage students to be aware of Q scores (the familiarity and appeal of a brand, company, celebrity, or television show in the United States) and how celebrities permeate nearly every aspect of modern society. Students will also learn to raise their own Q score on a local level, in the hope that they can begin to develop their own personal brand and ensure greater celebrity (and resulting professional success) following graduation.
A total of 18 hours is required for the minor. All CEL minors are required to take 9 hours of entry level courses (CEL 100, CEL 101, and CEL 205) and 9 elective hours of their choosing. No more than six of the elective hours may be taken under the pass/fail option and used to meet the minor requirements. Course plans will be made in consultation with the director of the Celebrity Studies minor.
Required Courses for Celebrity Studies
CEL100. Survey of Celebrity. (3h). Interactive seminar introduces students to readings and processes from various disciplines that elucidate the interdisciplinary nature of celebrity and enable students to recognize conditions that stimulate celebrity. Projects and assignments are designed to encourage a holistic view of celebrity culture through inquiry, multi-faceted exploration, and critical review of social media and celebrity-focused websites. Topics will be explored through writing assignments, group projects, and discussion.
CEL 101. Foundations of the Q Score. (3h). Addresses the challenges celebrities and their teams face in creating and sustaining a strong Q score in today’s global environment with 24-7 media outlets. Provides an overview of the role and importance of media saturation in developing a celebrity’s Q score. Examines how the publicity team works with both positive opportunities and spin control following noteworthy celebrity incidents, including public meltdowns, rehab, unflattering paparazzi photos, and more. Examines the ways in which celebrities have been entrepreneurial in developing responses that boost their Q scores.
CEL 205. Case Studies in Celebrity: Kardashian Kulture, Brangelina, and the Minivan Majority. (3h) Exposes students to multiple case studies of celebrities in the post-digital world. A broad range of case studies will be explored to enable students to understand the ambiguous and often highly-charged nature of celebrity culture. Focuses on three main aspects of modern celebrity: 1) the Rise of Reality TV, which will explore the “Kardashian Kulture” and how media exposure can raise an ordinary family to extraordinary levels; 2) the “Brangelina Quotient,” which will survey the impact of celebrity love affairs and the resulting impact on brand awareness, beginning with Le Scandal of Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton to Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie , to the secretly-contracted PR “fauxmances” as seen with Twilight‘s lead actors; and 3) the “Minivan Majority,” a study of how middle-class American mothers can either make or break a celebrity’s chance of upward Q score mobility based on the Minivan Majority’s perception of the celebrity’s likeability; special emphasis to be placed on the polarizing figure that is Gwyneth Paltrow and her GOOP lifestyle brand.
Elective courses are currently in development. Topics being finalized include:
CEL 225. Child Celebrities: The Disney Kids’ Curse (3h)
CEL 265. Loved or Hated But Never Ignored: the Impact of Fashion and Red Carpets (3h)
CEL 312. Special Topics in Celebrity Photography: the Art of the Photobomb, the Role of Selfies, and Leveraging the Paparazzi (1.5h)
CEL 345. Boy Bands and Expressions of Sexuality (3h)
CEL 401. April Fools Day. You didn’t really think a school like Wake Forest would have this kind of minor, did you? (Don’t be too mad at the Daily Deac for trying to string you along today. You know we love our Deac families!)
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