Camp (style)

Camp is an aesthetic style and sensibility that regards something as appealing because of its bad taste and ironic value.[1] Camp aesthetics disrupt many of modernism's notions of what art is and what can be classified as high art by inverting aesthetic attributes such as beauty, value, and taste through an invitation of a different kind of apprehension and consumption.[2]

Camp can also be a social practice. For many it is considered a style and performance identity for several types of entertainment including film, cabaret, and pantomime.[3] Where high art necessarily incorporates beauty and value, camp necessarily needs to be lively, audacious and dynamic. "Camp aesthetics delights in impertinence." Camp opposes satisfaction and seeks to challenge.[2]

Camp art is related to—and often confused with—kitsch, and things with camp appeal may also be described as "cheesy". When the usage appeared in 1909, it denoted "ostentatious, exaggerated, affected, theatrical", or "effeminate" behaviour, and by the middle of the 1970s, the definition comprised "banality, mediocrity, artifice, [and] ostentation ... so extreme as to amuse or have a perversely sophisticated appeal".[4] The American writer Susan Sontag's essay "Notes on 'Camp'" (1964) emphasized its key elements as: artifice, frivolity, naïve middle-class pretentiousness, and 'shocking' excess. Camp as an aesthetic has been popular from the 1960s to the present.

Camp aesthetics were popularized by filmmakers George and Mike Kuchar, Jack Smith and his film Flaming Creatures, and later John Waters, including the last's Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, and Polyester. Celebrities that are associated with camp personas include drag queens and performers such as Dame Edna Everage, Divine, RuPaul, Paul Lynde, and Liberace. Camp was a part of the anti-academic defence of popular culture in the 1960s and gained popularity in the 1980s with the widespread adoption of postmodern views on art and culture.

Singer, actress and comedian Bette Midler is known for her camp stage shows and film characters.

Origins and development

In 1870, in a letter produced in evidence at his examination before a magistrate at Bow-street, London, on suspicion of then-illegal homosexual acts, crossdresser Frederick Park referred to his "campish undertakings"; but the letter does not make clear what these were.[5] In 1909, the Oxford English Dictionary gave the first print citation of camp as

ostentatious, exaggerated, affected, theatrical; effeminate or homosexual; pertaining to, characteristic of, homosexuals. So as a noun, 'camp' behaviour, mannerisms, et cetera. (cf. quot. 1909); a man exhibiting such behaviour.

Carmen Miranda in The Gang's All Here trailer
Carmen Miranda in the trailer for The Gang's All Here (1943)

According to the dictionary, this sense is "etymologically obscure". Camp in this sense has been suggested to have possibly derived from the French term se camper, meaning "to pose in an exaggerated fashion".[6][7] Later, it evolved into a general description of the aesthetic choices and behaviour of working-class homosexual men.[8] Finally, it was made mainstream, and adjectivized, by Susan Sontag in a landmark essay (see below).

The rise of post-modernism made camp a common perspective on aesthetics, which was not identified with any specific group. The attitude was originally a distinctive factor in pre-Stonewall gay male communities, where it was the dominant cultural pattern. It originated from the acceptance of gayness as effeminacy.[8] Two key components of camp were originally feminine performances: swish and drag. With swish featuring extensive use of superlatives, and drag being exaggerated female impersonation, camp became extended to all things "over the top", including women posing as female impersonators (faux queens), as in the exaggerated Hollywood version of Carmen Miranda. It was this version of the concept that was adopted by literary and art critics and became a part of the conceptual array of 1960s culture. Moe Meyer still defines camp as "queer parody".[9][10]

Contemporary culture


Much of the cult following of camp today grew rapidly during the transition from black-and-white to colour television in the early 1960s. Network programming during that time sought entertainment content that would display the new medium with the use of bright colours and high stylization. The concept of the comicbook superhero (an individual in a highly stylized, outlandish and possibly impractical costume avenging otherwise serious matters such as murder) could be interpreted as camp. However, since it was aimed initially at children, it is camp only in a secondary perspective. It was not until the 1960s television version of Batman (one of the more famous examples of camp in popular culture, 1966–1968) that the link was made explicit, with the inherent ridiculousness of the concept exposed as a vehicle for comedy. The villains of series as divergent as Batman and The Mod Squad (1968–1973) were costumed as to take advantage of new colours and changing fashion styles, in ways that took advantage of camp.

Ironically, even Batman fell victim to contemporaneous parodies, with the release of Captain Nice and Mr. Terrific, which layered extra camp onto the already overladen superhero concept. The stylized content of Batman may have possibly jump-started television campiness, to circumvent the strict censorship of comics at this time (after Dr. Fredric Wertham's essay Seduction of the Innocent which led to the comics' industry-sponsored Comics Code), as the Batman comic books were very dark and noirish until the 1950s and from the 1970s onwards.

Television series such as The Avengers (1961–1969), The Addams Family, The Munsters (both 1964–1966), Gilligan's Island (1964–1967), Lost in Space (1965–1968), The Wild Wild West (1965–1969), Get Smart (1965–1970), Are You Being Served? (1972–1985), Charlie's Angels (1976–1981), Fantasy Island (1977–1984) and CHiPs (1977–1983) are enjoyed into the 21st century for what are interpreted as their "camp" aspects. Some of these series were developed 'tongue-in-cheek' by their producers.

In a Monty Python sketch of their television show (Episode 22, "Camp Square-Bashing", repeated in their film And Now for Something Completely Different, 1971), the British Army's 2nd Armoured Division has a Military "Swanning About" Precision Drill unit in which soldiers "camp it up" in unison.

TV soap operas, especially those that air in primetime, are often considered camp. The over-the-top excess of Dallas (1978–1991) and Dynasty (1981–1989) were popular in the 1980s. The Channel 4 series Eurotrash (1993–2004) was a television programme produced using the inherent ridiculousness of its subject matter for comedic effect, often using camp dubbing in regional accents and overexaggerated stereotypical characterisations (such as an aristocratic artist based on Brian Sewell) to puncture the interviewees' pretence of seriousness. However, an obituary to Lolo Ferrari was given straight dubbing as a mark of respect at odds with its irreverence. However, the subject matter would have offended many British viewers and fallen foul of OFCOM if it was done with any seriousness. Again, this is an example of doing a programme in a camp manner to get around the likelihood of censorship. Mentos television commercials during the 1990s developed a cult following due to their camp "Eurotrash" humour. In the Season 8 episode "Homer's Phobia" (1997) of the American animated comedy series The Simpsons, gay secondary character John (played by gay director John Waters) defines to Homer Simpson the meaning of the word camp to be "tragically ludicrous", or "ludicrously tragic": Homer gives a misinterpreted example of camp as "when a clown dies".

The Comedy Central television show Strangers with Candy (1999–2000), starring comedian Amy Sedaris, was a camp spoof of the ABC Afterschool Special genre.[11][12] The ESPN Classic show Cheap Seats without Ron Parker (2004–2006) featured two Generation-X, real-life brothers making humorous observations while watching televised camp sporting events, which had often been featured on ABC's Wide World of Sports during the 1970s. Examples include a 1970s sport that attempted to combine ballet with skiing (ski ballet), the Harlem Globetrotters holding a televised exhibition game at the notorious Attica State Prison in upstate New York, small-time regional professional wrestling and roller derby. The television series Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (2007–2010) is a current example of camp, using inspiration from Public-access television productions, early morning infomercials, and the use of celebrity status in telethons and other televised charity appeals.


Coca Sarli 1960s
Argentine pop icon and sex symbol Isabel Sarli, whose sexploitation films made alongside Armando Bó are celebrated for their camp tone.

Some classic films noted for their camp tone include:

Films such as Valley of the Dolls (1967), Mommie Dearest (1981), Showgirls (1995), and Burlesque (2010) gained camp status primarily due to the filmmakers' attempting to produce a serious film that wound up unintentionally comedic. Award-winning actresses, like Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls and Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest, gave such over-the-top performances that the films became camp classics, especially attracting fanfare from gay, male audiences.

The second part of the 1978 movie Superman set in fictional Metropolis takes on a campy screwball tone after the seriousness of the origin story.

Educational and industrial films form an entire subgenre of camp films, with the most famous being the much-spoofed 1950s Duck and Cover film, in which an anthropomorphic, cartoon turtle explains how one can survive a nuclear attack by hiding under a school desk. Its British counterpart Protect and Survive could be seen as kitsch, even though it is very chilling to watch (it was never shown on grounds of national security and would only be broadcast if an attack was deemed likely within 72 hours). Many British Public Information Films gained a camp cult following, such as the famous Charley Says series. Charley's voice is performed by the camp surrealist comedian and Radio DJ Kenny Everett, who came from an advertising background as a copywriter.

Some films are intentionally and consciously camp, such as The Toxic Avenger (1984) and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994). Quentin Tarantino's black comedy crime film Pulp Fiction (1994) has also fallen into this category, with film critic Nicholas Christopher calling it "more gangland Camp than neo-noir". In British cinema the archetypal camp film cult is the outrageous long-running, 30-film Carry On series (1958–1978). Another cult is built around The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Preaching to the Perverted (1997), written and directed by Stuart Urban, broke out of traditional British comedy style to portray the fetish and BDSM scene under assault from Christian crusaders and the authorities. It portrayed both the fetish scene and the Establishment in a cartoon, stylized visual manner. Lambasted by most traditional critics, lauded by gay, music and fashion press, it went on to build a lasting cult reputation.

Movie versions of camp TV shows in recent years have made the camp nature of these shows a running gag throughout the films. In Grizzly Man (2005), a documentary by Werner Herzog, the protagonist, Timothy Treadwell, describes the wild life of bears with camp mannerisms. Inspired by the work of George Kuchar and his brother Mike Kuchar, ASS Studios, launched in 2011 by Courtney Fathom Sell and Jen Miller, began making a series of short, no-budget camp films. Their feature film Satan, Hold My Hand (2013) features many elements recognized in camp pictures.[13][14]


Cher at Farewell Tour
Cher performing during her Living Proof: The Farewell Tour

American singer and actress Cher is often called the "Queen of Camp" due to her outrageous fashion and live performances.[15] She gained that status in the 1970s when she was heavily present on American prime time television with her variety shows on which she was collaborating with the famous costume designer Bob Mackie.[16][17]

Dusty Springfield (1966)b
Dusty Springfield in 1966

Dusty Springfield is a camp icon.[18] In public and on stage, Springfield developed a joyful image supported by her peroxide blonde beehive hairstyle, evening gowns, and heavy make-up that included her much-copied "panda eye" mascara.[18][19][20][21][22] Springfield borrowed elements of her look from blonde glamour queens of the 1950s, such as Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, and pasted them together according to her own taste.[23][24] Her ultra-glamorous look made her a camp icon and this, combined with her emotive vocal performances, won her a powerful and enduring following in the gay community.[22][24] Besides the prototypical female drag queen, she was presented in the roles of the "Great White Lady" of pop and soul and the "Queen of Mods".[20][25] More recently South Korean rapper Psy known for his viral internet music videos full of flamboyant dance and visuals has come to be seen as a 21st-century incarnation of camp style.[26][27]

Some challenge the perceived 'whiteness' of camp aesthetics, noting barriers for gender exploration in queer black communities relative to white LGBT communities.[28] Uri McMillan identifies Nicki Minaj as a contemporary black icon of camp.


Clarkes on Belmont
The banner of a diner featuring a 1950s-era camp advertisement

Retro-camp fashion is an example of modern hipsters employing camp styles for the sake of humour. Yard decorations, popular in some parts of suburban and rural America, are examples of kitsch and are sometimes displayed as camp expressions. The classic camp yard ornament is the pink plastic flamingo. The yard globe, garden gnome, wooden cut-out of a fat lady bending over, the statue of a small black man holding a lantern (called a lawn jockey) and ceramic statues of white-tailed deer are also prevalent camp lawn decorations.

The Carvel chain of soft-serve ice cream stores is famous for its camp style, camp low-budget TV commercials and camp ice-cream cakes such as Cookie Puss and Fudgie The Whale.

Distinguishing between kitsch and camp

The words "camp" and "kitsch" are often used interchangeably; both may relate to art, literature, music, or any object that carries an aesthetic value. However, "kitsch" refers specifically to the work itself, whereas "camp" is a mode of performance. Thus, a person may consume kitsch intentionally or unintentionally. Camp, as Susan Sontag observed, is always a way of consuming or performing culture "in quotation marks".[29]

However, Sontag also distinguishes the difference between "naive" and "deliberate" camp. Kitsch, as a form or style, certainly falls under the category "naive camp" as it is unaware that it is tasteless; "deliberate camp", on the other hand, can be seen as a subversive form of kitsch which deliberately exploits the whole notions of what it is to be kitsch. (Sontag, 1964)

Around the world

Mika Glastonbury
Pop singer Mika is known for his camp-styled performances

Thomas Hine identified 1954–1964 as the campiest period in modern US history. During this time, Americans had more money to spend, thanks to the post-war economic boom; but they often exercised poor taste. In the UK, on the other hand, camp is an adjective, often associated with a stereotypical view of feminine gay men. The term has been in common use for many decades. Gay comedian Kenneth Williams wrote in a diary entry for 1 January 1947: "Went to Singapore with Stan—very camp evening, was followed, but tatty types so didn't bother to make overtures."[30] Although it applies to gay men, it is a specific adjective used to describe a man that openly promotes the fact that he is gay by being outwardly garish or eccentric, for example, the character Daffyd Thomas in the English comedy skit show Little Britain. "Camp" forms a strong element in UK culture, and many so-called gay-icons and objects are chosen as such because they are camp. People like Kylie Minogue, John Inman, Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen, Lulu, Graham Norton, Mika, Lesley Joseph, Ruby Wax, Dale Winton, Cilla Black, and the music hall tradition of the pantomime are camp elements in popular culture. The British tradition of the "Last Night of the Proms" has been said to glory in nostalgia, camp, and pastiche.[31] Thomas Dworzak published a collection of portrait photographs of Taliban soldiers, found in Kabul photo studios. The Taliban[32][33] book shows a campy esthetics, quite close to the gay movement in California or a Peter Greenaway film.[34]

The Australian theatre and opera director Barrie Kosky is renowned for his use of camp in interpreting the works of the Western canon including Shakespeare, Wagner, Molière, Seneca, Kafka and his 2006 eight-hour production for the Sydney Theatre Company The Lost Echo, based on Ovid's Metamorphoses and Euripides' The Bacchae. In the first act ("The Song of Phaeton"), for instance, the goddess Juno takes the form of a highly stylized Marlene Dietrich, and the musical arrangements feature Noël Coward and Cole Porter. Kosky's use of camp is also effectively employed to satirize the pretensions, manners, and cultural vacuity of Australia's suburban middle class, which is suggestive of the style of Dame Edna Everage. For example, in The Lost Echo Kosky employs a chorus of high school girls and boys: one girl in the chorus takes leave from the goddess Diana, and begins to rehearse a dance routine, muttering to herself in a broad Australian accent, "Mum says I have to practise if I want to be on Australian Idol." See also the works of Australian writer/director Baz Luhrmann, in particular "Strictly Ballroom".

Since 2000, the Eurovision Song Contest, an annually televised competition of song performers from different countries, has shown an increased element of camp—since the contest has shown an increasing attraction within the gay communities—in their stage performances, especially during the televised finale, which is screened live across Europe. As it is a visual show, many Eurovision performances attempt to attract the attention of the voters through means other than the music, which sometimes leads to bizarre onstage gimmicks, and what some critics have called "the Eurovision kitsch drive", with almost cartoonish novelty acts performing.


The first post-World War II use of the word in print, marginally mentioned in the Sontag essay, may be Christopher Isherwood's 1954 novel The World in the Evening, where he comments: "You can't camp about something you don't take seriously. You're not making fun of it; you're making fun out of it. You're expressing what's basically serious to you in terms of fun and artifice and elegance." In the American writer Susan Sontag's 1964 essay "Notes on 'Camp'", Sontag emphasized artifice, frivolity, naïve middle-class pretentiousness, and shocking excess as key elements of camp. Examples cited by Sontag included Tiffany lamps, the drawings of Aubrey Beardsley, Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake, and Japanese science fiction films such as Rodan, and The Mysterians of the 1950s.

In Mark Booth's 1983 book Camp he defines camp as "to present oneself as being committed to the marginal with a commitment greater than the marginal merits". He carefully discerns the distinction between genuine camp, and camp fads and fancies, things that are not intrinsically camp, but display artificiality, stylization, theatricality, naivety, sexual ambiguity, tackiness, poor taste, stylishness, or portray camp people, and thus appeal to them. He considers Sontag's definition problematical because it lacks this distinction.


As a cultural challenge, camp can also receive a political meaning, when minorities appropriate and ridicule the images of the dominant group, the kind of activism associated with multiculturalism and the New Left. The best known instance of this is the gay liberation movement, which used camp to confront society with its own preconceptions and their historicity. The first positive portrayal of a gay secret agent in fiction appears in a series, The Man from C.A.M.P. in which the protagonist is, paradoxically, effeminate yet physically tough. Female camp actresses such as Mae West, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, and Joan Crawford also had an important influence on the development of feminist consciousness: by exaggerating certain stereotyped features of femininity, such as fragility, open emotionality or moodiness, they attempted to undermine the credibility of those preconceptions. The multiculturalist stance in cultural studies therefore presents camp as political and critical.

As a part of its adoption by the mainstream, camp has undergone a softening of its original subversive tone, and is often little more than the recognition that popular culture can also be enjoyed by a sophisticated sensibility. Mainstream comic books and B Westerns, for example, have become standard subjects for academic analysis. The normalisation of the outrageous, common to many Vanguardist movements—has led some critics to argue the notion has lost its usefulness for critical art discourse.

According to the sociologist Andrew Ross, camp engages in a redefinition of cultural meaning through a juxtaposition of an outmoded past alongside that which is technologically, stylistically, and sartorially contemporary. Often characterized by the reappropriation of a "throwaway Pop aesthetic", camp works to intermingle the categories of "high" and "low" culture.[35] Objects may become camp objects because of their historical association with a power now in decline. As opposed to kitsch, camp reappropriates culture in an ironic fashion, whereas kitsch is indelibly sincere. Additionally, kitsch may be seen as a quality of an object, while camp, "tends to refer to a subjective process".[36] Those who identify objects as “camp” commemorate the distance mirrored in the process through which, "unexpected value can be located in some obscure or exorbitant object."[37] The effect of camp's irony is problematic, insofar as the agents of cultural redefinition are often of upper- or middle-class standing who could, "afford, literally, to redefine the life of consumerism and material affluence as a life of spiritual poverty".[38]

Camp-style performances may allow certain prejudices to be perpetuated by thinly veiling them as irony. Some feminist critics argue that drag queens are misogynistic because they make women seem ridiculous and perpetuate harmful stereotypes. This criticism posits that drag queens are the gay equivalent of the black and white minstrel. Some critics claim that camp comedians like Larry Grayson, Kenny Everett, Duncan Norvelle and Julian Clary perpetuate gay stereotypes and pander to homophobia. This sign of a privileged cultural position left the lower-class standing incapable of any cultural redefinition, thereby relegating them to a static position which could then only be lifted by those with enough capital.

Camp aesthetics became the curious site of personal liberation from the stranglehold of the corporate, capitalist state.[39] Within the capitalist environment of constant consumption, camp rediscovers history's waste, bringing back objects thought of as refuse or of bad taste. Camp liberates objects from the landfills of history and reinvokes them with a new charisma. In doing so camp creates an economy separate from that of the state. In Ross's words, camp, "is the re-creation of surplus value from forgotten forms of labor".[40]

This is perhaps why camp often faces criticism from other political and aesthetic perspectives. For example, the most obvious argument is that camp is just an excuse for poor quality work and allows the tacky and vulgar to be recognized as valid art. In doing so, camp celebrates the trivial and superficial and form over content. This could be called the "yuck factor". The power of the camp object may be found in its ability to induce this reaction. In a sense objects that fill their beholders with disgust fulfill Sontag's definition of the ultimate camp statement, "it's good because it's awful."[41]

From flea markets to thrift stores, the 'bad taste' of camp has been increasingly reinculcated with the cultural capital that it had intended to break away from. In an attempt to "present a challenge to the mechanisms of control and containment that operate in the name of good taste", the camp aesthetic has fallen flat on its face and has been appropriated by artists such as Macklemore with his hit single "Thrift Shop".[42] Yet, his fame is only enjoyed at the expense of others, as Ross writes, "it [the pleasure of camp] is the result of the (hard) work of a producer of taste and 'taste' is only possible through exclusion and depreciation."[42]

See also


  1. ^ Babuscio (1993, 20), Feil (2005, 478), Morrill (1994, 110), Shugart and Waggoner (2008, 33), and Van Leer (1995)
  2. ^ a b Mallan, Kerry, McGills, Roderick (2005) "Between a Frock and a Hard Place: Camp Aesthetics and Children's Culture", Canadian Review of American Studies Vol.35 №1 pp. 1–19
  3. ^ Mallan, Kerry, McGills, Roderick. "Between a Frock and a Hard Place: Camp Aesthetics and Children's Culture". Canadian Review of American Studies (2005) 35:1 (1)
  4. ^ Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, 1976 edition, sense 6, [Slang, orig., homosexual jargon, Americanism] banality, mediocrity, artifice, ostentation, etc. so extreme as to amuse or have a perversely sophisticated appeal
  5. ^ 'My "campish undertakings" are not meeting with the success they deserve. Whatever I do seems to get me into hot water somewhere;...':The Times(London), 30 May 1870, p. 13, 'The Men in Women's Clothes'
  6. ^ Harper, Douglas. "camp (adj.)". Online Etymology Dictionary.
  7. ^ Entry "camper", in: Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, ninth edition (1992). "2. Fam: Placer avec fermeté, avec insolence ou selon ses aises.] Il me parlait, le chapeau campé sur la tête. Surtout pron. Se camper solidement dans son fauteuil. Se camper à la meilleure place. Il se campa devant son adversaire. 3. En parlant d'un acteur, d'un artiste: Figurer avec force et relief. Camper son personnage sur la scène. Camper une figure dans un tableau, des caractères dans un roman." (Familiar: To assume a defiant, insolent or devil-may-care attitude. Theatre: To perform with forcefulness and exaggeration; to overact.
                To impose one's character assertively into a scene; to upstage.)
  8. ^ a b Esther Newton (1978): Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America, University Of Chicago Press. Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America in libraries (WorldCat catalog).
  9. ^ Moe Meyer (2010): An Archaeology of Posing: Essays on Camp, Drag, and Sexuality, Macater Press, ISBN 978-0-9814924-5-2.
  10. ^ Moe Meyer (2011): The Politics and Poetics of Camp, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-51489-7.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^
  15. ^ "She's Reigned Pop Land since the 70s, She's the Queen of Camp, She Believes in Life after Love. She's Cher, and She's Still Fantastic". Sunday Mirror. Archived from the original on 2016-05-29. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  16. ^ "Cher is Love magazine's latest cover 'girl' at 69". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  17. ^ "Cher-ishing the Queen of Camp". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  18. ^ a b Peter Silverton. "Dusty Springfield (British singer) – Encyclopædia Britannica". Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  19. ^ Annie J. Randall (Fall 2005). "Dusty Springfield and the Motown Invasion". Newsletter Vol.35 №1. Institute for Studies In American Music, Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Archived from the original on 25 June 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  20. ^ a b Laurense Cole (2008) Dusty Springfield: in the middle of nowhere, Middlesex University Press. p. 13.
  21. ^ Charles Taylor (1997). Mission Impossible: The perfectionist rock and soul of Dusty Springfield, Boston Phoenix.
  22. ^ a b "Springfield, Dusty". glbtq – An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture. 2005. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  23. ^ Annie J. Randall, Associate Professor of Musicology Bucknell University (2008). Dusty! : Queen of the Post Mods: Queen of the Post Mods. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  24. ^ a b Bob Gulla (2007) Icons of R&B and Soul: An Encyclopedia of the Artists Who Revolutionized Rhythm, Greenwood Publishing Group ISBN 978-0-313-34044-4
  25. ^ Patricia Juliana Smith (1999) "'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me': The Camp Masquerades of Dusty Springfield", The Queer Sixties pp. 105–126, Routledge, London ISBN 978-0-415-92169-5
  26. ^ "Exploring Psy's Digital Dandy Appeal In 'Gangnam Style' " (3 October 2012) Rolling Stone (retrieved 21 April 2013)
  27. ^ "Psy Unveils His New 'Gentleman' Video and Dance at Extravagant Seoul Concert", Time, 13 April 2013, retrieved 21 April 2013
  28. ^ McMillan, Uri (2014). "Nicki-aesthetics: the camp performance of Nicki Minaj". Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory.
  29. ^ Susan Sontag (2 July 2009). Against Interpretation and Other Essays. Penguin Modern Classics. ISBN 978-0-14-119006-8. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  30. ^ Russell Davies (1993) The Kenneth Williams Diaries, Harper-Collins Publishers ISBN 978-0-00-255023-9
  31. ^ Compare: Miller, W. Watts (2002), "Secularism and the sacred: is there really something called 'secular religion'?", in Idinopulos, Thomas A.; Wilson, Brian C., Reappraising Durkheim for the study and teaching of religion today, Numen book series, 92, Brill, pp. 38–39, retrieved 21 November 2010, An English example of how the life has gone out of lieux de memoire concerns William Blake's hymn about the building of a New Jerusalem. it is still sung every year in London 's Albert Hall on the Last Night of the Proms. But it is in a fervor without faith. It brings tears to the eyes, only it is in a mixture of nostalgia, camp, 'post-modernism' and pastiche.
  32. ^ Traff, Thea (29 March 2014). "Thomas Dworzak's Taliban Glamour Shots". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  33. ^ "2000, Thomas Dworzak, 1st prize, Spot News stories". World Press Photo. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  34. ^ "Vom Nachttisch geräumt nachttisch 10.6.03 vom 10 June 2003 von Arno Widmann – Perlentaucher". Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  35. ^ Ross, Andrew (1989). No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge. p. 136.
  36. ^ Ross, Andrew (1989). No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge. p. 145.
  37. ^ Ross, Andrew (1989). No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge. p. 146.
  38. ^ Ross, Andrew (1989). No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge. p. 137.
  39. ^ Ross, Andrew (1989). No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge. p. 144.
  40. ^ Ross, Andrew (1989). No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge. p. 151.
  41. ^ Ross, Andrew (1989). No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge. p. 154.
  42. ^ a b Ross, Andrew (1989). No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge. p. 153.


  • Babuscio, Jack (1993) "Camp and the Gay Sensibility" in Camp Grounds: Style and Homosexuality, David Bergman Ed., U of Massachusetts, Amherst ISBN 978-0-87023-878-9
  • Feil, Ken (2005) "Queer Comedy", in Comedy: A Geographic and Historical Guide Vol. 2. pp. 19–38, 477–492, Maurice Charney Ed., Praeger, Westport, CN ISBN 978-0-313-32715-5
  • Levine, Martin P. (1998) Gay Macho, New York UP, New York ISBN 0-8147-4694-2
  • Meyer, Moe, Ed. (1994) The Politics and Poetics of Camp, Routledge, London and New York ISBN 978-0-415-08248-8
    • Morrill, Cynthia (1994) "Revamping the Gay Sensibility: Queer Camp and dyke noir" (In Meyer pp. 110–129)
  • Helene A. Shugart and Catherine Egley Waggoner (2008) Making Camp: Rhetorics of Transgression in U.S. Popular Culture, U of Alabama P., Tuscaloosa ISBN 978-0-8173-5652-1
  • Van Leer, David (1995) The Queening of America: Gay Culture in Straight Society, Routledge, London and New York ISBN 978-0-415-90336-3

Further reading

  • Core, Philip (1984/1994). CAMP, The Lie That Tells the Truth, foreword by George Melly. London: Plexus Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-85965-044-8
  • Cleto, Fabio, editor (1999). Camp: Queer Aesthetics and the Performing Subject. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-06722-2.
  • Padva, Gilad (2008). "Educating The Simpsons: Teaching Queer Representations in Contemporary Visual Media". Journal of LGBT Youth 5(3), 57–73.
  • Padva, Gilad and Talmon, Miri (2008). "Gotta Have An Effeminate Heart: The Politics of Effeminacy and Sissyness in a Nostalgic Israeli TV Musical". Feminist Media Studies 8(1), 69–84.
  • Padva, Gilad (2005). "Radical Sissies and Stereotyped Fairies in Laurie Lynd's The Fairy Who Didn't Want To Be A Fairy Anymore". Cinema Journal 45(1), 66–78.
  • Padva, Gilad (2000). "Priscilla Fights Back: The Politicization of Camp Subculture". Journal of Communication Inquiry 24(2), 216–243.
  • Meyer, Moe, editor (1993). The Politics and Poetics of Camp. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-08248-X.
  • Sontag, Susan (1964). "Notes on Camp" in Against Interpretation and Other Essays. New York: Farrer Straus & Giroux. ISBN 0-312-28086-6.

External links

Academic year

An academic year or school year is a period of time which schools, colleges and universities use to measure a quantity of study.

Batman (TV series)

Batman is a 1960s American live action television series, based on the DC comic book character of the same name. It stars Adam West as Bruce Wayne / Batman and Burt Ward as Dick Grayson / Robin – two crime-fighting heroes who defend Gotham City from a variety of arch villains. It is known for its camp style, upbeat theme music, and its intentionally humorous, simplistic morality (aimed at its largely teenage audience). This included championing the importance of using seat belts, doing homework, eating vegetables, and drinking milk. It was described by executive producer William Dozier as the only situation comedy on the air without a laugh track. The 120 episodes aired on the ABC network for three seasons from January 12, 1966 to March 14, 1968, twice weekly for the first two and weekly for the third. In 2016, television critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz ranked Batman as the 82nd greatest American television show of all time.

Charles Busch

Charles Louis Busch (born August 23, 1954) is an American actor, screenwriter, playwright and female impersonator, known for his appearances on stage in his own camp style plays and in film and television. He wrote and starred in his early plays Off-off-Broadway beginning in 1978, generally in drag roles, and also acted in the works of other playwrights. He also wrote for television and began to act in films and on television in the late 1990s. His best known play is The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (2000), which was a success on Broadway.

Coon Creek Science Center

The Coon Creek Science Center is a science center and fossil finding site at 2985 Hardin Graveyard Road in Adamsville, McNairy County, Tennessee, USA.

The science center is situated on a 232 acres (94 ha) property on one of the most important fossil sites in North America. The Coon Creek Formation is a geologic formation located in western Tennessee and extreme northeast Mississippi. It is a sedimentary sandy marl deposit, Late Cretaceous in age, about 73 million years old. In the Late Cretaceous epoch, the Gulf of Mexico reached further north and West Tennessee was covered by water. The fossilization began when the water receded. Finds at the Coon Creek site range from marine shells, crabs and snails to vertebrate fossils, e.g. sharks.Apart from fossil digging, the Coon Creek Science Center offers fields and forests for hiking tours and wildlife watching as well as five ponds at which aquatic life can be studied. A telescope site is available for studies of the night sky.The science center organizes special tours, environmental camps and fossil digs. Visitors can dig for fossils at the site and take them home. Five camp-style cabins, a dining hall and kitchen are available to accommodate overnight guests. Admission to the center is limited to organized groups by appointment. The Coon Creek Science Center was acquired by the City of Memphis in 1988 and is part of the Pink Palace Family of Museums.

Dad Camp

Dad Camp is a reality TV show on VH1. The show, created by Michael Krupat and Chris Wylde, documents six pregnant couples as they undergo boot camp style group therapy, to help motivate the men to take up the responsibility of fatherhood. At the end of the show, each woman will decide if she wants her partner to stay and help raise the baby, or if she wants sole custody of the child. The couples were: Elliott Miller and Tiffany, Aaron Tyler and Shell, Wes Thompson and Cheryl, Austin Gurley and Candace Hendricks, Donta Young and Briana Stone, and Brian Merrill and Christina.

Flash Gordon (film)

Flash Gordon is a 1980 superhero film based on the King Features comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond. Directed by Mike Hodges and produced by Dino De Laurentiis, the film was shot in Technicolor and Todd-AO-35. It stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Topol, Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed and Ornella Muti. The movie was co-written by Michael Allin (known for Enter the Dragon) and Lorenzo Semple Jr. (who had previously scripted De Laurentiis's remake of King Kong). It uses a camp style similar to the 1960s TV series Batman (which Semple developed) in an attempt to appeal to fans of the original comics and serial films. Although a box office success in the United Kingdom, it performed poorly in other markets. The film is notable for its soundtrack composed, performed and produced by the rock band Queen, with the orchestral sections by Howard Blake. The film has since gained a significant cult following.

Julian Clary

Julian Peter McDonald Clary (born 25 May 1959) is an English comedian, actor, presenter and novelist. Openly gay, Clary began appearing on television in the mid-1980s and became known for his deliberately stereotypical camp style. Since then he has also acted in films, television and stage productions, and was the winner of Celebrity Big Brother 10 in 2012.


Lacawac is a historic estate located in Paupack Township and Salem Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1903, as a summer estate of Congressman William Connell (1827-1909). Six of the eight buildings remain. They are the main house, barn, spring house, pump house, Coachman's Cabin, and ice house. The buildings are in a Adirondack Great Camp style. The main house is a ​2 1⁄2-story frame dwelling with a cross gable roof. It features two-story porches and the interior is paneled in southern yellow pine.

In 1966, the property was deeded to a non-profit organization and subsequently used as a nature preserve, ecological field research station and public environmental education facility.It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Lake Lacawac was listed as a National Natural Landmark in 1968.

Low culture

"Low culture" is a derogatory term for forms of popular culture that have mass appeal. Its contrast is "high culture", which can also be derogatory. It has been said by culture theorists that both high culture and low culture are subcultures.

The boundaries of low culture and high culture blur, through convergence. Many people are "omnivores", making cultural choices from different menus.

Pantomime dame

A pantomime dame is a traditional role in British pantomime. It is a continuation of travesti portrayal of female characters by male actors in drag. They are often played either in an extremely camp style, or else by men acting 'butch' in women's clothing. They wear big make up and big hair, have exaggerated physical features, and perform in a melodramatic style.


Pleaseeasaur (pronounced Please-ee-uh-saur) is an American comedic musical act made of JP Hasson (formerly in We’re Not From Idaho and Touch Me Zoo, both with Joe Genaro of The Dead Milkmen). The music is high energy camp style humor. The live performance usually includes Hasson in many costumes, each of which coincides with the song, along with multimedia animations of related images on a large screen. Many songs are commercials for fake companies such as "No Prob Limo", "Pizza Brothers and Sons, Inc." and "Action City News."

Eventually garnering the attention of executives at Comedy Central, who in 2006 released what was essentially a greatest hits CD/DVD titled The Amazing Adventures of Pleaseeasaur featuring music videos directed by artist TH3 and a cartoon adventure, animated by the team from the Adult Swim series Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo.

Pleaseeasaur toured internationally during its 12 years, most often with alternative comedian Neil Hamburger as well as with such notable acts as: The Black Heart Procession, Boredoms, Buckethead, Man or Astro-Man?, The Melvins, Pinback, The Presidents of the United States of America as well as others.

Pleaseeasaur disbanded in 2009. Hasson is now touring internationally in support of his new project, JP Incorporated, for which there is a new album titled An Album of Distinction, released by Comedy Central consisting of 24 fictitious TV theme songs.

Scott Drinkwell

Scott Drinkwell is a fictional character from the British soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Ross Adams. The character made his first on-screen appearance on 27 April 2015. Producers asked Adams to audition for the role while he was working as a script editor on rival soap opera Emmerdale. The actor forgot his lines during his screen test but was still offered the role. The character was billed as a "troublesome new relative" joining the show's established O'Connor family. He is the cousin of Sinead O'Connor (Stephanie Davis) and nephew to Diane O'Connor (Alex Fletcher). Executive producer Bryan Kirkwood introduced the character to cause conflict with other characters.

Scott is openly gay and has a "camp and outgoing" personality. His characterisation and loud troublemaking antics have caused controversy with Hollyoaks viewers. The divisive character generated many complaints over concerns that Hollyoaks were stereotyping gay men. Kirkwood released a statement noting the show's history of including a diverse selection of LGBT character. He argued that there was no reason not to include a camp gay man after previously representing other personalities. Adams echoed his boss' sentiment and voiced his concern that the soap opera genre had shied away from depicting camp characters.

The character's storylines were originally centric to those featuring Sinead. Following Davis' dismissal from the show, writers began to create stories solely about Scott. He has been involved in storylines including poisoning his aunt Diane, pretending to have HIV, being tricked into kidnapping Rose Lomax by Rose's "mother" Tegan Lomax (Jessica Ellis), was manipulated by James Nightingale (Gregory Finnegan) into ruining his family's restaurant business and finding out that he is adopted. Scott's main relationship has been with John Paul McQueen (James Sutton), which was constantly undermined by James. In 2017, Scott attempted to commit suicide, following a battle with depression. For his portrayal of Scott, Adams has received nominations for "Best Comedy Performance" and "Scene of the Year", as well as winning the award for "Best Male Dramatic Performance".

Stu Francis

Stuart G. G. 'Stu' Francis (born 30 January 1951 in Bolton, Lancashire, England) is a British comedian with a camp style of delivery who achieved celebrity as lead presenter on the children's television programme Crackerjack (1979–1984). His principal "co hosts" were initially the Krankies and later, on alternating editions, Basil Brush and The Great Soprendo. He went on to host Ultra Quiz in 1985 and Border TV's Crush a Grape in 1987, a children's game and variety show in a similar vein, if not carbon copy, to his era of Crackerjack. He also released a single in 1983 (rereleased in 1985) called "Ooh! I could crush a grape".After attending Brownlow Fold Junior School and Smithills Base School, both in Bolton, he worked as a bluecoat entertaining guests at holiday camps. He then switched to comedy and appeared in summer seasons at clubs and in theatres.

The Christmas Chronicles

The Christmas Chronicles is a 2018 American Christmas film directed by Clay Kaytis from a screenplay by Matt Lieberman. The film stars Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. It also stars Judah Lewis, Darby Camp, Lamorne Morris, and with Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Oliver Hudson. Other stars include Martin Roach and Vella Lovell. The film was released on November 22, 2018, produced by 1492 Pictures and Wonder Worldwide, and distributed by Netflix.Siblings Kate and Teddy Pierce hatch a scheme to capture Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. When the plan goes awry, the kids join forces with a somewhat jolly Saint Nick and his loyal elves to save the holiday before it is too late.

The film features a conlang called Elvish. It was translated uncreditedly by David J. Peterson, and is spoken by Santa and the elves throughout the film. The Christmas Chronicles received mixed or average reviews from film critics. The criticism came to the computer-generated imagery effects and camp style, although Russell's performance was praised.


Whoop-Dee-Doo! is a deliberately ramshackle musical revue subtitled "a postage stamp extravaganza". It is named after the 1903 Broadway revue Whoop-Dee-Doo. It was conceived, created and developed by Charles Catanese, Howard Crabtree, Dick Gallagher, Phillip George, Peter Morris and Mark Waldrop. Songs and sketches by Dick Gallagher, Peter Morris and Mark Waldrop. Additional material by Brad Ellis, Jack Feldman, David Rambo, Bruce Sussman and Eric Schorr.

A co-production of The Glines and Postage Stamp Xtravaganzas, it opened at Actors Playhouse, 100 Seventh Avenue South, New York City, June 16, 1993, and closed February 20, 1994, after a run of 271 performances. Director: Phillip George. Musical Director: Fred Barton. Set Design: Bill Wood, Costume Design: Howard Crabtree, Lighting Design: Tracy Dedtrickson. Cast: Howard Crabtree, Keith Cromwell, Tommy Femia, David Lowenstein, Peter Morris, Jay Rogers, Ron Skobel, Richard Stegman and Alan Tulin. Executive Producers: Charles Catanese, John Glines, Michael Wantuck.

The songs and sketches are written to showcase extravagant costumes designed by Howard Crabtree. Despite the exuberantly camp style, the songs belie their surface silliness and the show's apparent amateurishness, and often have a serious point: "Born This Way" is a rousing song about the nature vs. nurture debate of the origins of homosexuality, "Last One Picked" looks at gay schooldays, and "A Soldier's Musical" makes points about gays in the military.

Whoop-Dee-Doo! won 1994 Drama Desk Awards in two categories: Best Musical Revue and Outstanding Costume Design (Howard Crabtree). In 1995 RCA Victor made a "Nearly Original Cast Recording".

In 1994 the Kings Head Theatre in London staged a production of the show, with Christopher Biggins taking Jay Rogers' role as the lead cast member always complaining about the quality of the production, and drag performer Earl Grey taking Tommy Femia's role as Judy Garland and other gay icons in the number You Are My Idol. Other cast members included Ashley Knight, Ray C. Davis, Michael Gyngell and Jon Peterson.

Willard Drug Treatment Center

Willard Drug Treatment Center is a specialized state prison in Seneca County, New York, United States. The prison focuses on treatment of drug-addicted convicts. Willard Drug Treatment Center is located in Willard, a community in the Town of Romulus, and is adjacent to Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes Region.

Willard is a 900-bed intensive "boot-camp" style drug treatment center for men and women. This voluntary 97-day treatment program provides a sentencing option for individuals convicted of a drug offense and parole violators who otherwise would have been returned to a state prison in most cases for a year or more. The facility is operated by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision in conjunction with the Division of Parole and is licensed by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).

William West Durant

William West Durant (1850–1934) was a designer and developer of camps in the Adirondack Great Camp style, including Camp Uncas, Camp Pine Knot and Great Camp Sagamore which are National Historic Landmarks. He was the son of Thomas C. Durant, the financier and railroad promoter who was behind the Crédit Mobilier scandal.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.