This essay examines the importance of media and celebrity to shaping popular knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. People with Alzheimer’s are often understood to have lost their identity or self because they lose their memories and the ability to recognize others. This essay describes public investments in the recuperative power of both celebrity and media for that compromised selfhood. These public investments serve as a corollary to normative models of aging and the media in the United States, but they also harmonize with a new popular culture of mediated selfhood. The essay looks in particular at the case of the country and pop music star Glen Campbell, who released multiple albums, a music video, a documentary film, and embarked on a final Goodbye Tour after revealing to the public that he had Alzheimer’s.


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pp. 883-901
Launched on MUSE
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