Reform And Revolution In Susan Sontag's 'Notes On Camp'

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The 1960’s was truly an age of reform and revolution that set the stage for Susan Sontag 's, “Notes on ‘Camp,’” published in 1964. The decade saw the emergence of large scale political campaigns aiming to increase opportunities for all people, such as the Civil Rights movement. Some reformers demanded social change and denounced capitalism in order to create a counterculture encouraging self-exploration and fulfillment, often involving sex positivity, drug use and communal living. To counter some of these liberal movements the modern conservative movement was born with the ideals later reflected in the Reagan era. Additionally, 1960’s America saw a the development of several new forms of art such as Op art (or Optical art), Pop art, Performance art and Feminist art. It was also a great decade for the film industry as a “New Hollywood” with new directors gained prominence. This cultural renaissance led to the coining of the word “dandy”, defined as a man who places a significant importance on style. The term was associated with homosexuality which at the time was illegal. “Notes on ‘Camp’” is a definitional essay wherein Sontag aims to explain the esoteric “camp sensibility” through a series of 58 statements. Sontag uses a neutral tone, simple organized structure and historically relevant examples to convey her rather progressive ideas about the camp sensibility. An understanding of the 1960’s is critical in understanding Sontag 's piece because she uses historical

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