Author Biography

Ula Lukszo Klein is an Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, TX. Her research interests include eighteenth-century literature, feminism and gender studies, and film and popular culture. Her current book project, Desiring Bodies, Embodied Desires: Cross-Dressing Women in Eighteenth-Century British Literature examines how representations of female cross-dressers complicate our understanding of gender and sexuality in the long eighteenth century. Emily MN Kugler is an Assistant Professor in the English Department of Howard University. Her work touches on histories of enslavement, empire, literary/print networks, digital humanities, and gender studies. Her book, Sway of the Ottoman Empire on English Identity in the Long Eighteenth Century, was published in 2012 as part of Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History series, and in 2015, she co-edited and contributed to the edited volume Ottoman Empire And European Theatre. Vol. III: Images Of The Harem In Literature And Theatre, part of the Don Juan Archiv in Vienna's Ottomania series. Currently, she is working on new digital and book projects focused on networks, women, slavery, and empire.


A blend of the silly and the extravagant that puts the serious into conversation with the ridiculous, camp today is often signified by elements of eighteenth-century Europe with its elaborate hairstyles, exaggerated silhouettes, affected courtiers, and a rise in the consumption of exotic goods, candelabras, masks, and other markers of elite excess (often with a nod to the era’s demise in the form of either the French Revolution or subsequent Victorian strictures). Camp’s relation to queer modes of performance and its prioritization of style over (or in conjunction with) substance offers a queer aesthetic lens to re-evaluate the eighteenth century and the current moment. In this special issue on “camp” and/in the long eighteenth century, we hold that this is not just a twentieth-century reference to an imagined past, but a concept that indeed does have its roots in eighteenth-century Europe. It is also a concept deeply rooted in constructions of gender and, whether implicitly or explicitly, a vital element in the lives of long eighteenth-century female artists, writers, and thinkers. This critical introduction to our special issue on eighteenth-century camp argues why eighteenth-century camp is a concept both timely and necessary to eighteenth-century studies, and what these individual essays, and this issue as a whole, contribute to our understanding of the eighteenth century, aesthetics, politics, gender, and sexuality.


camp, aesthetics, eighteenth-century, feminism, queer