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From my own head:

Camille Paglia's second compilation, covering her career from the publication of Sexual Personae, 1990, to its publication in 1992. Her essays are not to be missed, especially 'The Joy of Presbyterian Sex', 'Rape and Modern Sex War' and 'The Rape Debate, Continued', and 'Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders' and 'The M.I.T. Lecture'.

The first covers the 1991 report Keeping Body and Soul Together, a failed attempt by the Special Committee on Human Sexuality of the Presbyterian Church to change views on sex and sexual related behavior. Paglia examins the Presbyterian view of sex, and relates the inherent problems of a document such as Keeping Body and Soul Together, saying, "We must accept history for what it is, neither lightening nor darkening it to fit a ready-made political agenda."

On one of Paglia's most controversial ideas, the two interviews on rape are most astounding, and take a close look at one's personal responsibility in relation to rape. She says, "I'm encouraging women: accept the adventure of sex, accept the danger!" In rough overview, placing one's self in a dangerous sexual situation, a dark alley or a drunken frat party, is asking for trouble, but that is what makes sex powerful, as long as control is maintained individually. This has been accused by critics as "blaming the victim", but her ideas are definitely something to consider.

Finally, Paglia's essay and address concerning education in the American System and academic reform. Paglia argues for a more rigorous scholarship in academia, arguing down the word-worship of Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault and the conference-centered academic. "In this disgraceful academic scandal, we have people dismissing science and psychology who know nothing of science and psychology; people spouting politics who know nothing of political science or history; people claiming to do anthropology who know nothing of anthropology; people throwing around philosophical terms who know nothing of philosophy. For the first time ever, we have pedantry without learning."

From the back cover:

Twenty-One essays from Our Foremost Intellectual Provocateur--Never Before Published in Book Form

Since the stunning success of her scholarly tour de force Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia has attracted controversy the way a magnet draws iron filings. She's been called brillant, outrageous, "the intellectual pin-up of the '90s," an anti-feminist feminist, an Italian Joan Rivers, an academic rottweiler, and "the bravest and most original critic of our day." Paglia lives up to all of her reputations in this ferociously intelligent new volume of essays on topics that range from Madonna to Anita Hill, date rape to MTV. Whether she's denouncing the women's movement's descent into Puritanism, or describing a fraternity party as "Testosterone Flats," or nominating the late Robert Mapplethorpe as today's pagan priest of art, Paglia in Sex, Art, and American Culture is never anything less than enlightening, playful], and unabashedly entertaining as she addresses the hottest issues in our ongoing cultural debate.


Paglia, Camille. Sex, Art, and American Culture. New York: Vintage Books, 1992.

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