Lecture | "Hollywood Agents & the Making of Entertainment"

Based on interviews with Hollywood professionals and in situ observations, Representing Talent explores the unknown world of talent agents and their decisive role in the making of entertainment. The book takes agents and agencies as an entry point to analyze what is happening behind the scenes in Hollywood and how this professional world is organizationally structured. It also sheds new light on the formation of Hollywood networks: it examines, in particular, the "relationship work" that agents perform in the stable professional circles that tie together talent representatives, artists, and production professionals in Hollywood. Exchanges and transactions that take place in these circles are key to understanding what gets made in the entertainment industry. Following agents at work therefore allows us to understand how artistic careers are shaped and how film and television projects come to life.

Violaine Roussel is Professor of Sociology at the University of Paris VIII as well as Affiliated Faculty at the University of Southern California. A former Fulbright Scholar, she started exploring the entertainment industries with an extended study on arts and politics, published in the form of three volumes: Voicing Dissent (Routledge, 2010); "Arts and Politics: A French-American Perspective," a special issue of International Journal of Culture, Politics and Society (2010); and Art vs War: Les artistes américains contre la guerre en Irak (Presses de Sciences Po, 2011). She was recently awarded a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship by the European Commission to study the role of talent agents in Hollywood. In 2015, she co-edited Brokerage and Production in the American and French Entertainment Industries (Lexington Books, with D. Bielby). Two new books are about to come out: in December 2016, How To Do Politics With Art (Routledge, with A. Banerji) and, in the spring of 2017, Representing Talent (University of Chicago Press).

11 10 lecture

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