Keeping Up with the Kardashian Decade

Last month Ego-Media’s Alexandra Georgakopoulou and Rob Gallagher joined celebrity studies scholars Oline Eaton and Hannah Yelin for a short symposium dedicated to the Kardashian clan and their impact on how we produce and consume life stories today (Hannah, as you’ll hear, was also joined by baby Arvo, who chips in with the occasional gurgle). The  discussion spanned old media and new, parenthood and post-feminism, entrepreneurship and diasporic identity, viral style trends and Snapchat’s share price. And Kimojis, obviously.


00:45 – Hannah Yelin
‘We are all dark, and we’re hairy, like most Armenians’: Ethnicity, Pride, and Shame in Kardashian Konfidential
This paper examines how the Kardashians discuss their Armenian ethnicity in the memoir Kardashian Konfidential in relation to the ‘whiteness’ of celebrity culture.

10:24 – Alexandra Georgakopoulou
Out with the Celebrity Self, in with Celebrity ‘Stories’:  The Social Media Move to Storifying Visibility
In this talk, I will use Kim Kardashian to show how and why the ‘technologies of the Self’, especially the celebrity self on social media apps, are increasingly relying on rolling out Stories as an app feature (see the latest offering of ‘Stories everywhere’). In Kim Kardashian’s case, I will claim that Stories have offered additional affordances for branding & ways of managing (hyper)visibility.

24:33 – Rob Gallagher
Kendall & Kylie, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and the Videogame as Procedural Biography
Glu mobile’s smartphone apps Kendall & Kylie (2016) and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood (2014) reimagine the roleplaying game as a kind of procedural biography, cementing the Kardashians’ status as avatars of post-feminism while exemplifying shifting understandings of digital work and play.

37:35 – Oline Eaton
Keeping Up With Making America Great Again
Taking a deep-dive into two recent Kardashian texts—Kim Kardashian’s Interview magazine photo-spread and Jerry Oppenheimer’s Kardashians: An American Drama—I will analyze the whiteness of Jacqueline Kennedy’s image and the emergent conventions of #MAGA life-writing as visible in responses to and writing about the Kardashians.

48:02 – Panel Discussion

01:03:02 – Q&A

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Prior to joining the Ego Media team, Rob worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University’s Technoculture, Art and Games... read more about: Robert Gallagher