Higher Ed Scholars Keep Up With the Kardashians

Higher Ed Scholars Keep Up With the Kardashians
Susan Dutca-Lovell

Keeping up with the Kardashians isn't too difficult in contemporary American culture - from the tabloids to social media, the Kardashians remain among the top searched items on the Internet, according to Google trends. Now the Kardashians have squeezed their way into academics. The world's first "Kimposium" will explore the world's obsession with the Kardashian family, and its impact on society.

Scholars from the United States, Germany and Britain will gather at Brunel University London this month for a day-long conference to discuss the modern-day reality TV epidemic. Scholars believe "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" is more than an overly dramatic reality TV show. Instead, the show and its cast is a reflection of popular culture and values. The first ever "Kimposium" will host discussions on current issues such as race, feminism, and the politics of "fat" and beauty. Dr. Meredith Jones believes there is strong cultural significance to be examined in Kim's "famously big bottom" and that "they [the Kardashians] may be vacuous and bland when they open their mouths, but they are also very powerful."

Professor Hall from the University of Liverpool believes Kim is simply famous for being famous. He equates Kim's success to scholars who have "high-profile scientific blogs on Twitter but have not actually published peer-reviewed papers of essence, scientists who are seen as leaders in their field simply because of their notoriety." Professor Hall has devoted time to calculating Kim's index score to draw parallels between celebrity success and academia. His Kardashian Index Theory defines modern fame by asserting that the wrong people are gaining attention for the wrong reasons. For supporters of this theory, Kim K. is the perfect example of fame without notable talent or work ethic.

Scholars believe that perhaps the Kardashians embody "a lot of values and tensions" that are prevalent in modern society; such as interracial marriages, the redefining of beauty through Kim's "curvaceous, dark-skinned body," glamour makeup, and the controversial transformation of former Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner. What is the motive in analyzing the success of these "talentless airheads?" Do you believe this discussion would benefit society, or will it only further Kim Kardashian's celebrity status?

Would you attend the Kimposium? In your opinion, is a scholarly discussion of the Kardashian epidemic worthwhile? Start your own discussion by commenting below.

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