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Female stardom is central to understanding many of the anxieties and pleasures that recycled stars invoke through public, multi-mediated emergence, loss, and return. The introduction to Recycled Stars situates this insight within an understanding of how the socially mediated practices around the star-fan matrix serve as anchoring points with a chain of networked points in which subjects are enmeshed as gendered audiences and consumers. The star-fan bond, as a key feature of commodity culture’s social imaginary, enables and relies on media industries’ powerful manipulations of star labor and promotion. This introduction summarizes how the first four chapters address these relations in the context of the genres, performing artistry, and promotional practices produced out of the overlapping and competing interests of the film and television industries, and how the last chapter considers the critical recycling practices of experimental video and filmmakers and of fans.

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