The function of hosts: enabling fan–celebrity interactions at pop culture conventions

Jackie Raphael, Celia Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Celebrity seminars are a common fixture of contemporary popular culture conventions, sought after for their ability to offer close contact with celebrity figures and organized to facilitate in person fan-celebrity encounters. Following a well-established formula, the seminars constitute ‘pre-staged encounters’; managed events enabling fan-celebrity interaction within controlled situations. Celebrities offer anecdotes and answers to selected fan questions that are regulated by hosts. These three agents constitute the main ‘players’ or agents in a ritualistic social situation governed by inherent rules and behavioural expectations. This paper examines the interaction between celebrities, fans and hosts during question and answer seminar sessions to explore the role of the host, as a facilitator of fan-celebrity interactions. It offers an Australian perspective through its focus on six celebrity seminars held at the Supanova pop culture expo, Gold Coast in April 2016. Qualitative ethnographic methodology was employed with observation of participation interaction at seminars. Fan-celebrity interaction, as moderated and facilitated by the host, will be discussed from the perspective of dynamics of power, control and desire. In particular, the multifaceted role of the host within the fan-celebrity encounters is examined in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-183
Number of pages11
JournalContinuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


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