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Guest lecture: Freaking Out in the Counterculture of the 1960s

How did camp and the creepy come to dominate modern popular culture?

Info about event


Monday 30 May 2022,  at 14:00 - 16:00

Join us when Distinguished Professor of Modern History, Gary S. Cross (Pennsylvania State University), gives a talk at Aarhus University. The talk is open to all.


Freaking Out in the Counterculture of the 1960s: How Camp and the Creepy Came to Dominate Modern Popular Culture  

Abstract: The late 1960s brought much divisive social and cultural change that continues to impact popular culture today. The rise of the camp aesthetic in youth culture and escalation of the creepy especially in horror film are neglected examples, emerging primarily from the rebellion of middle-class youth against the genteel values of their parents and predecessors. These youth rejected the disgust shown in middle-class culture toward freaks (midgets, conjoined twins, and “pinheads”) and the gawking plebs who saw them. An emerging youth culture identified with and engaged the “freakish” in a camp aesthetic and in accelerated creepiness in horror.  From the perspective of a historian who was young in the 1960s, this talk will illustrate these trends in the late 1960s and consider their modern implications.


The lecture takes place in building 1441, room 113 (Auditorium 3), at 2-4pm CEST, and will be streamed online via the following link: https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/63568303905.


This event is organized in collaboration between the Recreational Fear Lab, the Department of English, and the Department of History, Aarhus University. The organizers are Helle Strandgaard Jensen and Mathias Clasen.