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Dr Joshua Gulam: Stardom and Celebrity Humanitarianism

Joshua Gulam Thursday 12 January 2017

Dr Joshua Gulam, a recently appointed lecturer in the Media and Communication department, is to give a paper at the 2017 annual Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) Conference. The theme of the MeCCSA 2017 is Culture, Media, Equality and Freedom.  

Dr Gulam has a particular interest in the intersection of contemporary Hollywood cinema, stardom and celebrity humanitarianism. He will deliver a paper entitled “See Batman Try To Save Gotham, Err, The Congo: Ben Affleck, ECI, and the Neglected Importance of Film Texts in Discussions of Star Campaigning”.

Using Ben Affleck as a case study, the paper explores the importance of film texts - and, in particular, commercial genre films - related to discussions of film star campaigning. Specifically, it considers how Affleck’s role in Batman v. Superman (2016) intersects with his work for the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI). ECI seeks to promote economic and social development in eastern Congo, with an emphasis on encouraging US commercial investment within the region.

The paper looks at how film texts help to shape not just the popular understanding of Hollywood campaigners like Affleck, but also the wider instrumentalities that their humanitarian activities perform.

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