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Afterlife as Afterimage

Understanding Posthumous Fame


Steve Jones and Joli Jensen

The mass media make it possible for fame to be enhanced and transformed posthumously. What does it mean to fans when a celebrity dies, and how can death change the way that celebrities are perceived and celebrated? How do we mourn and remember? What can different forms of communication reveal about the role of media in our lives?
Through a provocative look at the lives and legacy of popular musicians from Elvis to Tupac and from Louis Prima to John Lennon, Afterlife as Afterimage analyzes the process of posthumous fame to give us new insights into the consequences of mediation, and it illuminates the complex nature of fandom, community formation, and identity construction.
Contents: Julie Andsager: In Memoriam – Joli Jensen: Introduction - On Fandom, Celebrity, and Mediation: Posthumous Possibilities – Steve Jones: Better Off Dead: Or, Making It the Hard Way – Julie L. Andsager: Altared Sites: Celebrity Webshrines as Shared Mourning – Van M. Cagle: Flaunting It: Style, Identity, and the Social Construction of Elvis Fandom – Erika Doss: «Elvis Forever» – Mary C. Beltrán: Commemoration as Crossover: «Remembering» Selena – Peggy J. Bowers/Stephanie Houston Grey: The Hagiographic Impulse Anorexia in the Public Memory of a Pop Star – Joli Jensen: Posthumous Patsy Clines: Constructions of Identity in Hillbilly Heaven – George Kamberelis/Greg Dimitriadis: Collectively Remembering Tupac: The Narrative Mediation of Current Events, Cultural Histories, and Social Identities – Janne Mäkelä: Who Owns Him?: The Debate on John Lennon – John J. Pauly: Taming the Wildest: What We’ve Made of Louis Prima – Eric W. Rothenbuhler: The Strange Career of Robert Johnson’s Records – Marko Aho: A Career in Music: From Obscurity to Immortality – Jonathan Sterne: Dead Rock Stars 1900 – Steve Jones: Echo Homo.