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Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity - USC Literary Luncheon

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Published on Mar 12, 2011

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett presents her latest book, Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity, at the 2011 Literary Luncheon hosted by the Friends of the USC Libraries in Doheny Memorial Library.

Currid-Halkett, assistant professor at the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development, joins the ranks of other renowned authors who previously have spoken as part of the series, including Michael Cunningham, Robin D. G. Kelley, M.G. Lord, Lisa See, University Professor Kevin Starr, Robin Swicord, Ayelet Waldman and Essie Mae Washington.

Published by Faber & Faber, Starstruck quantifies the business of fame by examining celebrity photographs taken by the Getty Images wire service from 2006 to 2007. The book also explores society's obsession with celebrity, explaining why society anoints some as stars but not others and detailing the business implications that entails.

"Dr. Currid's work is an excellent example of SPPD's capacity to bridge theory and practice," said Jack H. Knott, the C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean of SPPD. "Her book is both academically outstanding and relevant in the world at large. "We appreciate the enormous academic contributions she makes to our school and to our students, and are thrilled that her book is so successful."
Starstruck has received wide coverage by more than 20 leading media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Daily News, New York magazine, New York Post, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Philadelphia Examiner, Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday UK, Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Salon, Fox News, KPPC, WNYC and Radio New Zealand.

Paper magazine wrote: "Never before has so much statistical analysis been brought to bear on the likes of Britney Spears, Clint Eastwood and Lara Flynn Boyle and the subtle but meaningful differences between A-, B- and C-list celebrities."

According to the Philadelphia Enquirer, "The author digs deep to highlight the real reasons why the public continues to tune in (or log on) to get the latest on celebrity happenings - even if it's just shots of Jennifer Anniston stopping off at Starbucks."

Currid-Halkett also wrote several op-eds based on the content of Starstruck that appeared in the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and New York Daily News, among others.

In her first book, The Warhol Economy, Currid-Halkett explored how New York's economy is driven by art and culture. She earned a Ph.D. in urban planning from Columbia University.

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