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Science Explains the Difference Between 'Camp' and 'Kitsch'


For those unsure about the sometimes-misunderstood difference between ‘Kitsch’ and ‘Camp’, Dr. Freya Jarman, who is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Music at the University of Liverpool, UK, provides a concise definition:

“Camp enjoys and glorifies its own awfulness where kitsch doesn't realise it.”

Dr. Jarman researches how ‘camp’ works, musically. See, for example: ‘Notes on Musical Camp’, in: The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Musicology, ed. Derek B. Scott. (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2009), 189-203, which cites this 1969 performance by (the late) Liberace:

Unfortunately, another reference-video cited in the paper, Charlotte Church – Don’t Rain On My Parade appears to be damaged, so instead, with the definition above in mind . . .

Here is an Improbable mini-cornucopia of possible camp / kitsch renditions which might serve as a starting point for comparisons along the lines of – Camp? Kitsch? Neither? Both?

This article originally appeared on Improbable Research.

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