Camille Anna Paglia (born April 2, 1947) is an American academic and social critic. Paglia, a self-described dissident feminist, has been a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since 1984. The New York Times has described her as "first and foremost an educator".
She is the author of Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990) and a collection of essays, Sex, Art, and American Culture (1992). Her other books and essays include an analysis of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, and Break, Blow, Burn (2005) on poetry. Her most recent book is Glittering Images (2012). She is a critic of American feminism and of post-structuralist theory as well as a commentator on multiple aspects of U.S. social culture such as its visual art, music, and film history.
Paglia is known for her critical views of many aspects of modern culture, including feminism and liberalism. She has been characterized variously as a "contrarian academic" and a feminist "bête noire," a "witty controversialist," and a maverick, Margaret Wente has called Paglia "a writer in a category of her own... a feminist who hates affirmative action; an atheist who respects religion" and "a Democrat who thinks her party doesn't get it." Martha Duffy writes that Paglia "advocates a core curriculum based mostly on the classics" and rails against "chic French theorists Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan," and "has a strong libertarian streak — on subjects like pornography — that go straight to her '60s coming-of-age." Elaine Showalter has called Paglia a "radical libertarian," noting her socially liberal stands on abortion, sodomy, prostitution, drug use, and suicide. Paglia has denounced feminist academics and women's studies, celebrated popular culture and Madonna, and become a media celebrity, writing op-eds and gossip columns, appearing on television and telling her story to journalists...
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