Claire Sisco King is Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Chair of the Cinema and Media Arts program. She is a scholar of media and visual culture, with a particular emphasis on the study of gender and sexuality. Her newest book, Mapping the Stars: Celebrity, Metonymy, and the Networked Politics of Identity (The Ohio State University Press, 2023), shows how close analysis of the complex and sometimes contradictory forms of celebrity culture can challenge dominant ideas about selfhood. King considers three stars with popular and controversial personas: Norman Rockwell, Will Smith, and Kim Kardashian. Working in very different contexts and with very different public images, these figures nonetheless share a consistent, if not conspicuous, interest in celebrity as a construct. Offering intertextual and metonymic readings of their public images across such sites as movie posters, magazines, cinema, and social media, King argues that these stars’ self-reflexive attention to the processes by which celebrity is created and constrained creates opportunities for reframing public discourse about what it means to be famous and what it means to be a person. Her first book, Washed in Blood: Male Sacrifice, Trauma, and the Cinema (Rutgers University, 2011), which was named an Outstanding Book of the Year in 2013 by Critical Cultural Studies division of the National Communication Association, addresses the intersections between cinematic violence, masculinity, and discourses of civic identity. Her work has been published in numerous journals in the fields of communication and media studies, and she is currently writing a new book on celebrity culture, gender, and race. King is a past Editor of Women’s Studies in Communication, a peer-reviewed, feminist journal addressing the relationships between communication and gender.
Mapping the Stars: Celebrity, Metonymy, and The Networked Politics of Identity (The Ohio State University Press, 2023)
Washed in Blood: Male Sacrifice, Trauma, and the Cinema (Rutgers University Press, 2011)
“‘Bach, Please’: Nashville Bachelorette Party Culture’s Investments in White Southern Femininity,” Communication and Critical Cultural Studies, 20.1 (2023): 91-109.
With Terrell Taylor, “Monstrous Proletariat: The Racial Chimera in District 9 and Sorry to Bother You,” Journal of Literature and Science, 14.1-2 (2022): 78-93.
“‘If It’s in A Word’: Intersectional Feminism, Precarity, and The Babadook,” The Popular Culture Studies Journal 6. 2-3 (November 2018): 166-189.
“Hitching Wagons to Stars: Celebrity, Metonymy, Hegemony, and the Case of Will Smith,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 14.1 (2017): 83-102.
With Vanessa B. Beasley, “Running on Screen while Black: Representations of Black Candidates in U.S. Film and Television,” Quarterly Journal of Speech, 103.1-2 (2017): 117-135.
“American Queerer: Norman Rockwell and the Art of Queer Feminist Critique,” Women’s Studies in Communication, 39.2 (2016): 157-176.
With Isaac N. West, “This Could be the Place: Queer Acceptance in Lars and the Real Girl,” QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, 1.3 (Fall 2014): 59-84.
"A Single Man and a Tragic Woman: Gender Politics and the Fag Hag,” Feminist Media Studies, 14.2 (May 2014): 190-205.
With Joshua Gunn, “On a Violence Unseen: The Womanly Object and Sacrificed Man,” Quarterly Journal of Speech, 99.2 (May 2013): 200-208, invited essay.
“Car Crashes and Crosses to Bear: Trauma and Masculinity in Seven Pounds,” The Northwest Journal of Communication, 41 (Winter 2012): 13-40, lead article.
“Unqueering Horror: Hellbent and the Policing of the ‘Gay Slasher,’” Western Journal of Communication, 74.3 (July-September 2010): 249-268.
“The Man Inside: Trauma, Gender, and the Nation in The Brave One,” Critical Studies in Media Communication, 27. 2 (June 2010): 111-130, lead article.
“It Cuts Both Ways: Fight Club, Masculinity, and Abject-Hegemony,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 6. 4 (December 2009): 366-385.
"Rogue Waves, Remakes and Resurrections: Allegorical Displacement and Screen Memory in Poseidon," Quarterly Journal of Speech, 94. 2 (November 2008): 430-454
“Acting Up and Sounding Off: Sacrifice and Performativity in Alice, Sweet Alice,” Text and Performance Quarterly, 27. 2 (April 2007): 124-142.