By Michael Trask

ISBN-10: 080478440X

ISBN-13: 9780804784405

ISBN-10: 0804784418

ISBN-13: 9780804784412

ISBN-10: 0804786631

ISBN-13: 9780804786638

Reading around the disciplines of the mid-century college, this booklet argues that the political shift in postwar the USA from consensus liberalism to New Left radicalism entailed as many continuities as ruptures. either chilly battle liberals and radicals understood the collage as a privileged website for "doing politics," and either exiled homosexuality from the political beliefs each one crew favorite. Liberals, who complicated a politics of favor over substance, observed homosexual humans as not able to split the 2, as incapable of holding the opportunistic suspension of disbelief on which a tough-minded liberalism depended. Radicals, dedicated to a politics of authenticity, observed homosexual humans as hopelessly beholden to the role-playing and duplicity that the radicals condemned of their liberal forebears.

Camp Sites considers key subject matters of postwar tradition, from the clash among functionality and authenticity to the increase of the meritocracy, throughout the lens of camp, the underground sensibility of pre-Stonewall homosexual existence. In so doing, it argues that our easy assumptions concerning the social form of the postwar milieu are deeply expert by means of convinced presuppositions approximately gay event and identification, and that those presuppositions stay stubbornly entrenched regardless of our post-Stonewall consciousness-raising.

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Extra info for Camp sites : sex, politics, and academic style in postwar America

Sample text

It is important to distinguish the reality principle that prompts Goodman’s grief over the loss of an “objective cultural standard” (177) from the principled disbelief central to postwar subjectivity. Goodman rejects the conditions that figures like Arthur Schlesinger and Daniel Bell understand as tantamount to a thriving political order. Whereas these architects of the Cold War consensus see the refusal of absolute values or objective truth as the ground for a distinctive American agency, Goodman sees the rise of artifice and pretense as obstacles that stand between persons and their self-actualization.

Ferguson (1896). The history of Tuskegee illustrates this ambiguity; in his infamous 1895 address to the Cotton States Convention, Washington promoted the school as the model for his accommodationist views. All this is to say that Invisible Man brings a fairly conflicted account of the college to its pages. Even as it leans heavily on the syllabus of experience that was emerging from the midcentury college campus, it cannot but draw upon a knowledge of the difference that race makes to that account.

For the university had long been purveying the “experiential benefits” (226) that Toffler saw as posterity’s promise. Indeed, well before Toffler, its faculty had come to rely on “experiential production” (227) in order to demonstrate to students the folly of thinking in the “straight lines” of any particular ism. To anticipate the argument that unfolds in the next chapter, we might say that the greatest dividend of the academic commitment to ungrounded belief is that it accords a forceful primacy to open-ended experience.

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Camp sites : sex, politics, and academic style in postwar America by Michael Trask


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