module specification

SJ5072 - Stardom and Performance (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Stardom and Performance
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Portfolio of research and planning
Coursework 60%   Final essay 3000 words
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

The module explores ideas around stardom and performance, considering their significance in relation to notions of identity, cultural context, filmic narrative and audience reception. A number of case studies will be examined as the module explores shifting ideas of stardom across both eras and screen media.

Module aims

This module aims to:

• Explore and debate issues of stardom, performance and star imagery

• Examine definitions of stardom as well as the various ways in which star images are constructed

• Locate and critically analyse star images within a cultural context

• Critically analyse the impact of star imagery and performance on film narrative and audience reception

• Develop students’ skills in original research


The module will explore a variety of issues around stardom, star images and performance. Students will explore the variety of means through which star images are constructed, including fan magazines, general press, film reviews and screen performance. The importance of performance style will be examined with respect to both screen imagery and narrative themes. Through a number of case studies, the significance of star images in relation to cultural context and issues of identity will be explored. Shifting ideas of stardom will also be considered, from key notions of glamour and aspiration in the Hollywood studio era, to contemporary television celebrity and the reality show.

Learning and teaching

Learning and teaching on the module will be conducted via lectures, seminars, screenings, blended learning and students’ guided independent study. Students will be expected to enhance their learning in scheduled classes through guided research. Student development weeks will provide students with the opportunity for primary research and for individual feedback in tutorials with tutors to develop planning and research for their final assignments. The developing assessment strategy provides opportunities for personal development as students are able to reflect on and develop their learning and research in conjunction with tutor feedback in preparation for their final essays.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

• Critically debate key issues around stardom and performance

• Explore the construction of star images in relation to a variety of sources

• Critically analyse star images in relation to cultural context and issues of identity

• Critically analyse the impact of star images and performance on film narrative

• Demonstrate skills and abilities of original research in relation to star images

Assessment strategy

The module’s strategy of assessment both promotes developmental learning and research and enables students to demonstrate key skills and engagement with module content. The first assignment provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate skills in original research as well as essay planning in preparation for the final assignment. Formal feedback will be provided on this assignment. Through the final essay, students will have the opportunity to demonstrate the development of their research and planning, incorporating tutor feedback, and their ability to critically analyse issues of stardom and performance in relation to a star or stars of their choice.


Charles Affron, Star Acting: Gish, Garbo, Davis (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1977).
Thomas Austin and Martin Barker (eds.), Contemporary Hollywood Stardom (London: Arnold, 2003).
Cynthia Baron and Sharon Marie Carnicke, Reframing Screen Performance (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2008).
Jeremy G. Butler, Star Texts: Image and Performance in Film and Television (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1991).
Richard Dyer, Stars (London: BFI, 1998).
Christine Gledhill (ed.), Stardom: Industry of Desire (London: Routledge, 1991).
Andrew Klevan, Film Performance: From Achievement to Appreciation (London: Wallflower, 2005).
Alan Lovell and Peter Krämer (eds.), Screen Acting (London and New York: Routledge, 1999).
Karen McNally, When Frankie Went to Hollywood: Frank Sinatra and American Male Identity (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2008).
Rachel Moseley (ed.), Fashioning Film Stars: Dress, Culture, Identity (London: BFI, 2005).
James Naremore, Acting in the Cinema (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998)
Pamela Robertson Wojcik, Movie Acting: The Film Reader (London and New York: Routledge, 2004).
Andy Willis (ed.), Film Stars: Hollywood and Beyond (Manchester: Manchester university Press, 2004).