Talking About North American Intellectual Tradition, Free Speech and Education with Camille Paglia

Gunter Axt


Camille Paglia is the University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she has taught since 1984.  She received her B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1968 and her M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University in 1971 and 1974 respectively.

Her prior books are:  Sexual Personae:  Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990); Sex, Art, and American Culture (1992); Vamps & Tramps: New Essays (1994); The Birds, a study of Alfred Hitchcock published in 1998 by the British Film Institute in its Film Classics Series; Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World's Best Poems (2005), Glittering Images:  A Journey through Art from Egypt to Star Wars (2012), and Free Women, Free Men:  Sex, Gender, Feminism (2017). Her eighth book, Provocations: Collected Essays, was released by Pantheon in October 2018.

Prof. Paglia was a co-founding contributor and columnist for, beginning with its debut issue in 1995. She has written numerous articles on art, literature, popular culture, feminism, education, religion, and politics for publications around the world. 

In this interview, conducted by e-mail between December 14 and 22, 2018, Camille Paglia talks to Gunter Axt about North American intellectual tradition and some of her main theoretical references, such as media theorist Marshall McLuhan. the American literary critics Leslie Fiedler and Norman O. Brown, as well as Northrop Frye, Erving Goffman and Erich Neumann. She also discusses Marxism, Post-structuralism, Simone de Beauvoir’s and Arnold Hauser’s legacy. The interview also addresses the so-called Queer Theory, the political correctness, and the movement of Free Speach in universities. She comment about her meeting with Jordan Peterson and her impressions of his ideas. Finally, Camille talks about her impressions of the recent academic scandal involving scholars Judith Butler and Avital Ronnel, in the United States.


Free Speech, Marshall McLuhan, Leslie Fiedler, Norman O. Brown, Jordan Peterson

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PAGLIA, Camille. The North American Intellectual Tradition. Interfaces Brasil/Canadá, v. 12, n. 1, p. 201-214, 2012.

______ . Imagens cintilantes: uma viagem aatravés da arte, desde o Egito a Star Wars. Rio de Janeiro: Apicuri, 2014

______ . Prefácio. In: AXT, Gunter. Histórias de Vida: mulheres do Direito, mulheres no Ministério Público. Florianópolis: Procuradoria-Geral de Justiça SC, 2015.

______ . Provocations: Collected Essays. New York: Pantheon Books, 2018.


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ISSN eletrônico: 1984-5677

ISSN impresso: 1519-0994