Celebrity, Politics & Public Life: American Artists Against the Iraq War

Photo courtesy D B Young, Creative Commons Attribution license
Photo courtesy D B Young, Creative Commons Attribution license

The Celebrity, Politics & Public Life Faculty Seminar Series continues with French political scientist Violaine Roussel’s work on Hollywood musicians and actors and their involvement in contemporary anti-war campaigns. The respondent was Jon Wiener, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine, and author of Gimme Some Truth: the John Lennon FBI File. Roussel is also a visiting scholar at the Center for Feminist Research at USC.

Art, Fame and Political Activism: American Artists Against the Iraq War

This research analyzes the political mobilization of artists and professionals in the entertainment industry who spoke out against an American attack in Iraq. Mobilization occurred simultaneously in several countries and had, to some extent, a transnational dimension.

Roussel’s work focuses in particular on the French and the American cases. The differences in mobilization between the two countries offers an opportunity to study the effects of heterogeneous game conditions on the forms of action used by the artists involved in the two places. At the same time, the individuals involved in France and in the USA share some specific repertoires of action and have coordinated their practices to some extent.

The empirical part of this research – mostly sociological interviews with committed artists belonging to various art worlds (graphic artists as well as musicians, poets, filmmakers, actors) – was conducted in Los Angeles in the fall of 2004 and continues in Paris with French artists in spring of 2005.

November 11, 2005
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Annenberg, Room 207

This seminar is open to faculty and advanced graduate students. For more information, email enter@usc.edu.