Camille Paglia is University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts, where she has taught since 1984 when she was appointed by the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. 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. She taught at Bennington College for eight years and was a visiting instructor at Wesleyan University and Yale College.
"Madonna – Finally, a Real Feminist," her 1990 New York Times op-ed piece was selected as one the newspaper's most significant in the past 40 years. Also included in "Op-Ed at 40: Four Decades of Argument and Illustration" was a video interview with Paglia, who describes the Madonna piece as her "entrance into public controversy."
A frequent contributor and critic on art, literature, popular culture, feminism, politics and religion for publications around the world, Paglia's recent article, "Lady Gaga and the Death of Sex," was the cover story of the U.K.'s Sunday Times Magazine.
Other recent opinion pieces include "Revalorizing the Trades," her answer to this question posed by The Chronicle of Higher Education for the 10th-anniversary issue of The Chronicle Review: What will be the defining idea of the coming decade, and why?
Paglia is the author of numerous national best sellers, including Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (Yale University Press, 1990; Vintage Books, 1991, national bestseller); Sex, Art, and American Culture (Vintage Books, 1992, national bestseller); Vamps & Tramps: New Essays (Vintage Books, 1994, national bestseller); and The Birds, a study of Alfred Hitchcock published in 1998 by the British Film Institute in its Film Classics Series. Her fifth book, Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World's Best Poems, was released by Pantheon Books in 2005 and became a national bestseller, as did its paperback edition published by Vintage Books in 2006.
Her work is internationally known and has been widely translated, most recently by Denoël, which published the French edition of Vamps & Tramps in October 2009. Her next book, a study of visual images that will be a companion book to Break, Blow, Burn, is under contract to Pantheon Books. Her third essay collection is also under contract to Pantheon.
She is a columnist at Salon.com, as well as a co-founding contributor, beginning with its debut issue in 1995. She is also a contributing editor at Interview magazine and a member of the editorial board at Arion, a scholarly journal of classics and the humanities. She has lectured at universities and libraries and appeared on television and radio in North and South America as well as Europe. She served as a judge on the non-fiction panel for the 2009 National Book Awards.