My favorite student of Harold Bloom's, Camille Anna Paglia (born April 2, 1947 in Endicott, New York) is an American social critic, intellectual, author and teacher. She is a professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Paglia completed her undergraduate studies at Binghamton University and, later, her graduate studies at Yale. She has been variously called the "feminist other feminists love to hate," a "post-feminist feminist," one of the world's top 100 intellectuals by the UK's Prospect Magazine, and by her own description "a feminist bisexual egomaniac."
She came to public attention in 1990, with the publication of her first book, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson. Her notoriety as the author of this book made it possible for her to write on popular culture and feminism in mainstream newspapers and magazines. Paglia the public intellectual challenged the so-called "liberal establishment" of the day that ruled the roost in media, academia, activism, and politics, including figures such as Gloria Steinem, Andrea Dworkin, prominent academics, and advocacy groups such as National Organization for Women and ACT UP.
Paglia describes herself as a feminist, and as a Democrat who voted for Bill Clinton and Ralph Nader, and even campaigned for John F. Kennedy as an adolescent. Her views on the legalization of recreational drugs and prostitution, and on the relaxation of sexual consent laws, are more libertarian. She is a strong critic of much of the feminism that began with Betty Friedan's 1962 The Feminine Mystique, and compared feminists — whom she considered to be victim-centered — to the Unification Church. At the same time, Paglia's libertarian and Dionysian sexual world view, embracing fetishism, pornography, prostitution, and, most prominently, male homosexuality, puts her at odds with the "family values" of American social conservatives.
Fiercely critical of the influence certain French philosophers and theorists (including Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Helene Cixous, and Michel Foucault) have had on the humanities in the USA, she favors a curriculum grounded in comparative religion, art history, and the literary canon, with a greater emphasis on facts in the teaching of history.
- Sexual Personae: The Androgyne in Literature and Art (Dissertation: 1974)
- Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990)
- Sex, Art and American Culture: Essays (1992)
- Vamps and Tramps: New Essays (1994) ISBN 0-679-75120-3
- The Birds (BFI Film Classics) (1998)
- Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World's Best Poems (2005) ISBN 0-375-42084-3
- Camille Paglia's column mentioning John Lauritsen's The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein