Authorship, Activism and Celebrity: Art and Action in Global Literature (Hardcover)
Since long before the age of celebrity activism, literary authors have used their public profiles and cultural capital to draw attention to a wide range of socio-political concerns. This book is the first to explore - through history, criticism and creative interventions - the relationship between authorship, political activism and celebrity culture across historical periods, cultures, literatures and media. It brings together scholars, industry stakeholders and prominent writer-activists to engage in a conversation on literary fame and public authority.These scholarly essays, interviews, conversations and opinion pieces interrogate the topos of the artist as prophet and acute critic of the zeitgeist; analyse the ideological dimension of literary celebrity; and highlight the fault lines between public and private authorial selves, 'pure' art, political commitment and marketplace imperatives. In case studies ranging from the 18th century to present-day controversies, authors illuminate the complex relationship between literature, politics, celebrity culture and market activism, bringing together vivid current debates on the function and responsibility of literature in increasingly fractured societies.
Sandra Mayer is a literary and cultural historian based at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, working on the intersections of literary celebrity, activism and life-writing.Ruth Scobie is a scholar of eighteenth-century literature and colonialism. She is the author of Celebrity Culture and the Myth of Oceania in Britain 1770-1823 (2019).