We live in a star obsessed culture. This course will explore what defines and makes a star, and how a star is constructed through a film text, their screen performance, and associated texts of publicity, promotion, criticism, and gossip. We will examine the historical and social context of the star’s ideological meanings. Stars are marketed to a range of audiences and studying the star system offers a unique way to understand the film industry and film genres. We will undertake a chronological survey of stardom not only in Hollywood, but also consider stardom in France, Britain and Canada. Theories of spectatorship, audience identification, and fandom will be considered.