King’s held a symposium on the Kardashians and it was more interesting than most of your lectures
Could Stormi Webster be a future graduate?
You'd think a Thursday afternoon in the middle of reading week would be the last time anyone would be attending a lecture, but if anything can motivate us to come into uni it's the Kardashians.
Publicised by the English department (sorry science students, you don't get invited to awesome things like this) 'Keeping Up With the Kardashian Decade: A Symposium' saw speakers from different unis giving some v insightful analysis on the Kardashian phenomenon.
Oxford Brookes Media and Culture lecturer Hannah Yelin kicked off the event, her baby casually joining her on the podium, with a talk on ethnicity, contrasting Kim Kardashian's 'Armenianness' with Paris Hilton's whiteness – making reference to a WHOLE chapter on hair removal in the Kardashian Konfidential book. Who knew?
Following on from this, Alexandra Georgakopoulou-Nunes, a Professor of Discourse Analysis & Sociolinguistics at King's, analysed Kim's use of social media and specifically Snapchat and Instagram stories, focusing on self-editing and authenticity.
With biography an already established area of literary studies, Alexandra emphasised how Insta stories are basically a new mode of life-writing. Tbh if we could make our auto-biography into one huge Insta story and publish it we totally would.
Alexandra is also part of KCL's Ego-media project, which studies 'the impact of new media on autobiographical narratives', along with Rob Gallagher who spoke about the Kim Kardashian and Kendall & Kylie mobile games as an alternative form of life-writing.
The final speaker was Oline Eaton from the Centre for Life-Writing Research. Devoting most of her research to the life of Jackie Kennedy Onassis (her website is mega btw, check it out), Oline's analysis was directed at that photoshoot where Kim dressed up as Jackie O.
These four wide-ranging but each very specific topics left much to be discussed in the form of a panel, with debates about whether the Kardashians' promotion of hair removal is actually a manifestation of their shame of their Armenian heritage getting quite heated. People just really care about the Kardashians.
All in all, the symposium covered some interesting topics that don't get enough coverage in academic research, from the longevity of the female celebrity, new forms of biography and life-writing, to how Kourtney Kardashian eats a Kit Kat. Tbh it's great to see the Kardashians getting the academic interrogation they deserve and we're hoping to see more events like this at King's.
The Life and Times of Phillip Schofield up next tho, yeh?