S CAMP!

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COURSE OUTLINE

3.02.971: S CAMP!

  • [Module] ang971, ang972, ang973 - Culture and Difference
  • [Credits] M.A. English Studies: 12 KP; M.Ed. Gym: 9 KP; M.Ed. WiPäd 6 KP
  • [Instructor] Dr. Christian Lassen
  • [Time] Monday, 10-11 am: weekly chat (via "Meetings" on our Stud.IP page); Monday, 11-12 am: video conference for presentation groups, designed to discuss the presentation scheduled for the following week
  • [Room] online; until further notice: video conferences for presentation groups; power point presentations; chat (via "Meetings")
  • [Description] Judy Garland singing Somewhere over the Rainbow in shiny red slippers, the look of Doris Day, a cheesy song by Liza Minnelli, the impersonations of Dame Edna, ABBA, the architecture of Gaudi, feather boas, the aphorisms of Oscar Wilde and Quentin Crisp, a Eurovision song performed with maximum verve, Julie Andrews yodelling on a mountaintop, psychedelic sci-fi flicks from the 1960s, the Austin Powers movies, a Tiffany lamp, glam rock, Batman and Robin, Bette Davis, Bette Midler, the arias of Florence Foster-Jenkins, rococo, Kiss, Ernie & Bert, water ballet revues, the Last Night of the Proms, Huit Femmes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hairspray and perhaps flamingos … If these things make you laugh for no particular reason, this may well be the right class for you. According to the late Susan Sontag then, camp is "a certain mode of aestheticism. It is one way of seeing the world as an aesthetic phenomenon." Seeing the world through camp lenses has its advantages, for camp, the notorious 'gay sensibility', also signifies a powerful deconstructivist practice. As such, its favourite tasks are to ridicule failed seriousness, to unmask false glamour, and to expose the unmarked and invisible workings that underlie a (hetero-)normative culture. However, there is another side to camp, for camp also loves the things it mocks and ridicules, loves it, that is, when it can assemble and confer "beauty" on a world that has lost its charms. Hence, camp needs to be regarded as a fundamentally ambivalent sensibility: political in the sense that its paranoid/deconstructivist practices aim at demystification and exposure, and thera-peutic in the sense that its aesthetic/reparative practices strive for comfort, uplift, and healing. This seminar tries to explore the workings of camp, analysing its distribution, its subterfuge, and its parodic reinscriptions.
  • [Office Hours] see Stud.IP; until further notice, office hours will be held via video conference. Please sign up for a time slot on my Stud.IP profile ("Sprechstunden") and you will receive a link to the virtual conference room.


PRIMARY TEXTS

  • Crisp, Quentin. The Naked Civil Servant. New York and London: HarperCollins, 2007. Print. [or any other edition]
  • Calamity Jane. Dir. David Butler. Perf. Doris Day and Howard Keel. 1953. Warner Home Video, 2003. DVD.
  • Orton, Joe. What the Butler Saw. London et al.: Bloomsbury, 1969. Print. [or any other edition]
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Dir. Jim Sharman. Perf. Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick. 1975. Twentieth Century Fox, 2013. DVD.
  • Velvet Goldmine. Dir. Todd Haynes. Dir. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, Toni Collette. 1998. Miramax, 2000.


ASSIGNMENTS

  • [Prüfungsleistung]

M.A. English Studies: asynchrones (Gruppen-)Referat (max. 2 Personen; ca. 45 min.) mit Schriftlicher Ausarbeitung (15 Seiten) [oder in Ausnahmefällen: Hausarbeit (20 Seiten)] (9 KP) + Project/ Essay (3 KP)

M.Ed. Gym.: asynchrones (Gruppen-)Referat (max. 2 Personen; ca. 45 min.) mit Schriftlicher Ausarbeitung (15 Seiten) [oder in Ausnahmefällen: Hausarbeit (20 Seiten)] (9 KP)

M.Ed. WiPäd: asynchrones (Gruppen-)Referat (max. 2 Personen; ca. 45 min.) mit Schriftlicher Ausarbeitung (10 Seiten) [oder in Ausnahmefällen: Hausarbeit (15 Seiten)] (9 KP)

  • [Aktive Teilnahme] 4 Abstracts, jeweils inklusive Thema, Forschungsstand, These und Outline des Arguments (je 1 Seite insgesamt)

Please note that written assignments (abstracts, short term papers, long term papers) need to be composed according to the style sheet ("Leitfaden") of the University of Oldenburg, which can be accessed via the 'Institutswiki'-page of the English department. The style sheet not only provides relevant information on how to write a correct bibliography but it may also help you to structure your work according to academic standards.

Please make sure to sign the "Erklärung zum 'Plagiat'" and to attach it to your research papers.

  • [Abgabefrist] September 15th, 2021.




Session One, April 12, Introduction

Organisational Matters

  • Assignments

Assignments are graded and mandatory.

M.A. English Studies: In order to obtain 12 credits (KP), you will have to give a (group) presentation (Referat, 45 min.) on one of the presentation topics specified in the syllabus. In addition to that, you will have to hand in a short term paper (Ausarbeitung, 10 Seiten) by the end of term (September, 15th). In exceptional cases, you may hand in a long term paper (Hausarbeit, 15 Seiten) instead of the above. However, an exception is only granted upon consultation. As M.A. students, you will have to hand in an extra project/essay, the topic and design of which we will discuss during an individual consultation.

M.Ed. Gym: In order to obtain 9 credits (KP), you will have to give a (group) presentation (Referat, 45 min.) on one of the presentation topics specified in the syllabus. In addition to that, you will have to hand in a short term paper (Ausarbeitung, 15 Seiten) by the end of term (September, 15th). In exceptional cases, you may hand in a long term paper (Hausarbeit, 20 Seiten) instead of the above. However, an exception is only granted upon consultation.

M.Ed. WiPäd: In order to obtain 6 credits (KP), you will have to give a (group) presentation (Referat, 45 min.) on one of the presentation topics specified in the syllabus. In addition to that, you will have to hand in a short term paper (Ausarbeitung, 10 Seiten) by the end of term (September, 15th). In exceptional cases, you may hand in a long term paper (Hausarbeit, 15 Seiten) instead of the above. However, an exception is only granted upon consultation.

  • Presentation Topics, Presentation Groups, Video Conferences for Presentation Groups

Presentation Topics are specified on your syllabus. In order to prepare your presentations, please pick a topic, get together in groups (see below) and write up a power-point presentation. Add your audio commentary to the presentation, save the file and send it on to me so that we can discuss your presentation in a video conference (see below). After that, you make your file available on Stud.IP on the Friday before your presentation so that all participants can read/ watch the presentation in time, i.e. before the session/ chat.

Requests regarding your choice of presentation topics can be send to me via e-mail, starting on Monday, April, 05. I will sign you in in the order of the requests' arrival. Please check this page regularly to see if your requests have been met.

Video Conferences for presentations take place in the second part of the weekly sessions, i.e. Monday 11-12 am. Please make sure that you attend the video conference the week before your presentation is due.

  • Active Participation

Active Participation is ungraded but mandatory. In order to fulfil the requirements, you will have to write four abstracts, each including a topic, a state of research, a thesis statement, and a brief outline of your argument (approx. 1 page), in the course of the seminar. You can choose your own topic; however: all abstracts have to address different primary texts. In other words, your abstracts will have to cover four out of five primary materials. They are due by the end of the week (i.e. Friday) that marks the ending of the respective sections, i.e. due date The Naked Civil Servant: May, 14; due date Calamity Jane: June, 04; due date What the Butler Saw: June, 18; due date The Rocky Horror Picture Show: July 02; due date Velvet Goldmine: July, 09)

  • Weekly Chat

In order to discuss the presentations and related topics, I will be in the chatroom ("Meetings" on our Stud.IP page) during the first part of each session, i.e. Monday 10-11 am. Please make sure to read/ watch the presentations before you join the chat. The second part of each session, i.e. Monday 11-12 am, is booked for the respective presentation groups (see video conference for presentation groups)

   Summary: Presentations

1. Pick a presentation topic and contact me via e-mail (starting April, 05). Check below for available places. Presentation groups may consist of a maximum of 2 people.

2. Contact the other members of your group and prepare your presentation, i.e. power-point presentation with audio commentary.

3. Send me your presentation 8 days before your presentation is scheduled.

4. Discuss your presentation with me in a video conference 7 days, i.e week, before your presentation is scheduled. Video conferences take place on Monday, 11-12 am.

5. Upload your file on the Friday before your presentation is scheduled.

6. Join the chat and be ready to answer questions on the day of your presentation. Chats take place on Monday, 10-11 am.

Session Two, April 19: Theory Session - Paranoid Readings

Theory Texts

Guiding Questions

On Butler:

On Dollimore:

Session Three, April 26: Theory Session - Reparative Readings

Theory Texts

Guiding Questions

On Sontag:

On Sedgwick:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Four, May 03, Writing the Self: "The Word 'Regret' Had in My Life no Application."

Primary Material

  • Crisp, Quentin. The Naked Civil Servant. New York and London: HarperCollins, 2007. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Not Drowning but Waving," or: Embracing the Abject in Quentin Crisp's The Naked Civil Servant
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Five, May 10, Shamelessness: "Posing was the first job I did in which I understood what I was doing."

Primary Material

  • Crisp, Quentin. The Naked Civil Servant. New York and London: HarperCollins, 2007. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "I wouldn't like you to think I was ashamed," or: Shame and Camp Performativity in Quentin Crisp's The Naked Civil Servant
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:
   May, 14: Abstract The Naked Civil Servant due

Session Six, May 17, Drag: "That Ain't All She Ain't."

Primary Material

  • Calamity Jane. Dir. David Butler. Perf. Doris Day and Howard Keel. 1953. Warner Home Video, 2003. DVD.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "That Ain't All She Ain't," or: De- and Reconstructing Heteronormative Gender Performmances in Calamity Jane
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Seven, May 31, Icons: "You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day."

Primary Material

  • Calamity Jane. Dir. David Butler. Perf. Doris Day and Howard Keel. 1953. Warner Home Video, 2003. DVD.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Once I Had a Secret Love," or: Camp Subtexts in Doris Day's Romantic Comedies
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:
   June, 04: Abstract Calamity Jane due

Session Eight, June 07, The Queer Sixties: "Undress Me Then, Doctor."

Primary Material

  • Orton, Joe. What the Butler Saw. London et al.: Bloomsbury, 1969. Print

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Undress Me Then, Doctor," or: Social Change and the Undoing of Essentialising Concepts of Gender and Sexuality in What the Butler Saw
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Nine, June 14, Deconstruction: "His Belief in Normality in Quite Abnormal."

Primary Material

  • Orton, Joe. What the Butler Saw. London et al.: Bloomsbury, 1969. Print

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "What Is Unnatural?", or: Parodying Psychoanalysis in What the Butler Saw
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:
   June, 18: Abstract What the Butler Saw due

Session Ten, June 21, Horror: "Over at the Frankenstein Place."

Primary Material

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Dir. Jim Sharman. Perf. Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick. 1975. Twentieth Century Fox, 2013. DVD.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Science Fiction, Double Feature," or: Re-Writing Frankenstein in The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Eleven, June 28, Music: "Don't Dream It, Be It."

Primary Material

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Dir. Jim Sharman. Perf. Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick. 1975. Twentieth Century Fox, 2013. DVD.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "In Just Seven Days I Can Make You a Man," or: Queer Pedagogy, Music, and Glam Rock's Camp Attack on Normative Masculinities
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:
   July, 02: Abstract The Rocky Horror Picture Show due

Session Twelve, July 05, History: "The Curves of Your Lips Rewrite History."

Primary Material

  • Velvet Goldmine. Dir. Todd Haynes. Dir. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, Toni Collette. 1998. Miramax, 2000.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • From Wilde to Bowie, or: Inheritance, Cultural Memory, and the History of Camp
  • Presentation Group:
   July, 09: Abstract Velvet Goldmine due

Session Thirteen, July 12, RPO Session

Guidelines for finding your RPO topic:

Your RPO topic needs to be related to at least one of the primary texts

   September, 15: Term Paper due

Please upload your paper to the folder "Ausarbeitungen und Hausarbeiten" on our Stud.IP page.

Bitte stellen Sie Ihre Prüfungsleistung in den Ordner "Ausarbeitungen und Hausarbeiten" auf unserer Stud.IP-Seite ein.


Selected Bibliography

  • Babuscio, Jack. "Camp and the Gay Sensibility." Queer Cinema, the Film Reader. Eds. Harry Benshoff and Sean Griffin. New York and London: Routledge, 2004. 121-36. Print.
  • Bennett, Chad. "Flaming the Fans: Shame and the Aesthetics of Queer Fandom in Todd Haynes's Velvet Goldmine." Cinema Journal 49.2 (2010): 17-39. Print.
  • Bergman, David, ed. Camp Grounds: Style and Homosexuality. Boston: The U of Massachusetts P, 1993.
  • Bingham, Dennis. "'Before She Was a Virgin …': Doris Day and the Decline of Female Film Comedy in the 1950s and 1960s." Cinema Journal 45.3 (2006): 3-31. Print.
  • Booth, Mark. Camp. London et al.: Quartet, 1983. Print.
  • Bristow, Joseph. Effeminate England: Homoerotic Writing after 1885. New York: Columbia UP, 1995. Print.
  • Britton, Andrew. "For Interpretation: Notes against Camp." Camp: Queer Aesthetics and the Performing Subject: A Reader. Ed. Fabio Cleto. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2002. 136-42. Print.
  • Bronski, Michael. Culture Clash: The Making of Gay Sensibility. Boston: South End, 1984. Print.
  • Butler, Judith. "From Interiority to Gender Performatives." Camp: Queer Aesthetics and the Performing Subject: A Reader. Ed. Fabio Cleto. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2002. 361-8. Print.
  • Cleto, Fabio, ed. Camp: Queer Aesthetics and the Performing Subject: A Reader. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2002. Print.
  • Coppa, Francesca. "A Perfectly Developed Playwright: Joe Orton and Homosexual Reform." The Queer Sixties. Ed. Patricia Juliana Smith. New York, NY: Routledge, 1999. 87-104. Print.
  • Core, Philip. Camp: The Lie That Tells the Truth. London: Plexus, 1984. Print.
  • Cornell, Julian. "Rocky Horror Glam Rock." Reading Rocky Horror: The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Popular Culture. Ed. Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. 35-49. Print.
  • Dollimore, Jonathan. Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996. Print.
  • Dyer Richard. The Culture of Queers. London and New York: Routledge, 2004. Print.
  • ──. "It's Being so Camp as Keeps Us Going." Camp: Queer Aesthetics and the Performing Subject: A Reader. Ed. Fabio Cleto. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2002. 110-6. Print.
  • Eichler, Rolf. "In the Romantic Tradition: Frankenstein and The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Beyond the Suburbs of the Mind: Exploring English Romanticism. Eds. Michael Gassenmeier and Norbert H. Platz. Essen: Die Blaue Eule, 1987. 95-114. Print.
  • Flinn, Caryl. "The Deaths of Camp." Camp: Queer Aesthetics and the Performing Subject: A Reader. Ed. Fabio Cleto. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2002. 433-57. Print.
  • Fuss, Diana. Inside / Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories. London and New York: Routledge, 1991. Print.
  • Harris, Daniel. "The Death of Camp: Gay Men and Hollywood Diva Worship, from Reverence to Ridicule." Salmagundi 112 (1996): 166-91. Print.
  • Hawkins, Joan. "The Sleazy Pedigree of Todd Haynes." Sleazy Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics. Ed. Jeffrey Sconce. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2007. 189-218. Print.
  • Hotz-Davies, Ingrid. "Quentin Crisp, Camp, and the Art of Shamelessness." Sexed Sentiments: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender and Emotion. Eds. Willemijn Ruberg and Kristine Steenbergh. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011. 165-184. Print.
  • Hotz-Davies, Ingrid, Franziska Bergmann, and Georg Vogt, eds. The Dark Side of Camp Aesthetics: Queer Economies of Dirt, Dust and Patina. New York and London: Routledge, 2018. Print.
  • Kiernan, Robert F. Frivolity Unbound: Six Masters of the Camp Novel. London: Continuum, 1990. Print.
  • Kilian, Eveline. "The Queer Self and the Snares of Heteronormativity: Quentin Crisp's Life Story - A Successful Failure". Rethinking Narrative Identity: Persona and Perspective. Eds. Claudia Holler and Martin Klepper. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2013. 171-86. Print.
  • Lamm, Zachary. "The Queer Pedagogy of Dr. Frank-N-Further." Reading Rocky Horror: The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Popular Culture. Ed. Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. 193-206. Print.
  • Lassen, Christian. Camp Comforts: Reparative Gay Literature in Times of AIDS. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2011. Print.
  • Lucas, Ian. Impertinent Decorum: Gay Theatrical Manoeuvres. London: Cassell, 1994. Print.
  • McMahon, Gary. Camp in Literature. Jefferson and London: McFarland, 2006. Print.
  • McDonald, Tamar Jeffers. "Carrying Concealed Weapons: Gender Makeover in Calamity Jane." JPF&T: Journal of Popular Film and Television 34.4 (2007): 179-86. Print.
  • Meyer, Moe, ed. The Politics and Poetics of Camp. London: Routledge, 1994. Print.
  • Newton, Esther. Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1972. Print.
  • Savoy, Eric. "'That Ain't All She Ain't': Doris Day and Queer Performativity." Out Takes: Essays on Queer Performativity and Film. Ed. Ellis Hanson. Durham and London: Duke UP, 1999. 151-82. Print.
  • Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. New York: Columbia UP, 1985. Print.
  • ──. Epistemology of the Closet. Berkeley: U of California P, 1990. Print.
  • ──. Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2003. Print.
  • ──."Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading. Or, You're So Paranoid, You Probably Think this Essay Is about You." Touching Feeling. Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Durham: Duke UP, 2003. 123-51. Print.
  • Sinfield, Alan. "Who Was Afraid of Joe Orton?" Textual Practice 4.2 (1990): 259-77. Print.
  • Sontag, Susan. "Notes on Camp." Against Interpretation and Other Essays. London: Eyre & Spottiswood, 167. 275-92. Print.
  • Tyler Hitchcock, Susan. Frankenstein: A Cultural History. New York and London: Norton, 2007. 249-53. Print.