HANDOUT ON QUEER THEORY: EVE KOSOFSKY SEDGWICK. Assignment for next time. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, “Introduction: Axiomatic,” Epistemology of. Epistemology of the Closet is a book published in by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, who is considered one of the founders of queer studies. In Epistemology of. Epistemology of the closct / Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, p. cm. Includes . axiomatic, that modern Western culture has placed what it calls sexuality in a more and.

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Many of the ideas in Between Men are further flushed out in Epistemology of the Closet. Like Epistemology of the ClosetTouching Feeling also focuses on ideas of queer theory. Like the term “homosexuality”, the term “gay” produces mixed results. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. She also notes that it is hard to convey now the emergency of the late s of the AIDS crisis, which Epistemology was also a response to:. As Sedgwick said when appalled conservative commentators rejected her queer reading of literary greats: You dip aixomatic the Phaedrus often?

Retrieved from ” https: In the introduction, Sedgwick presents axioms — “assumptions and conclusions from a long-term project of anti-homophobic analysis” — that inform her book’s project. I loved this attitude. This heterosexual woman is troubled by her inability to xedgwick whether or not the men she is having sex with are bisexuals, and is therefore fearful that she has been infected with AIDS We’ve seen this distinction before; but it’s well worth reviewing:.

The relation of gay studies to debates on the axiomaic canon is, and had best be, tortuous.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Judith Butler showed me the transformative power of the word queer

What was this about? Others had imaginary friends, or teddies with personalities. Views Read Edit View history. How do you think her response ee been informed and influenced by her reading of writers like Foucault and Derrida? Axiom 1 — and I sedgwwick smile at its devastatingly brilliant simplicity — is “people are different from each other”. To prove this obvious but overlooked fact, Sedgwick lists a series of things “that can differentiate even people of identical gender, race, nationality, class, and ‘sexual orientation’ — each one of which, however, if taken seriously as pure differenceretains the unaccounted-for potential to disrupt many forms of the available thinking about sexuality”.


Show 25 25 50 All. Sedgwick argues that limiting sexuality to homosexuality or heterosexualityin a structured binary opposition, is just too simplistic.

Epistemology literature books Queer studies Contemporary philosophical literature. Get used to it! She is wearing a pretty dress, and an alice band; a toothy grin lights up her face.

In her sixth axiom, Sedgwick addresses the question of the canon. The paths of allo-identification are likely to be strange and recalcitrant.

On pagesSedgwick spends a lot of time talking about silence and ignorance–topics that obviously bear on the experience of being closeted. Topics Gender A book that changed me. Now, as you’ll recall, Butler uses this distinction to analyze statements like “I am a man” or “I am a lesbian,” insisting that such statements, which might appear to be “constantives,” are really “performatives” through and through.

To axiomayic, read or act queerly is to think across boundaries, beyond what is deemed to be normal, to axilmatic at the possibilities opened up by celebrating marginality, which in itself serves to destabilise the mainstream. However, not all reviews were positive. Epistemology of the Closet has received many positive reviews. It was prompted, my parents think, by a local farmer’s son called Robert, who I was drawn to as a child. In thinking about this one, remember Joan Scott’s claim that the “difference-versus-equlity” debate puts feminists in an “impossible position.

So why did it strike such a chord with this straight girl? As Sedgwick writes elsewhere, “queer is a continuing moment, movement, motive — recurrent, eddying, troublant”. This book addresses the idea that there are two views that guide sexual identity and desire: Sedgwick uses the writings of these authors to point out examples in other pieces of famous literary text that help propel her argument about the binary behind the homosexual identity and how language serves to define that binary.


Why does she refuse to identify queer studies with womens’ studies, and the identities of gay men with those of lesbians? Well, Sedgwick herself married a man, Hal Sedgwick, though she would not have used the term “straight”, seeing sexual identity as a continuum rather than a category. The history is important…for understanding some of the tonalities and cognitive structures of Epistemology of the Closet: Different from those who would be more open to the idea of liminal sexuality, who feel solidarity through mutual oppression in a heterosexist society, would see more similarities in experience.

In Epistemology of the ClosetSedgwick argues that standard binary oppositions limit freedom and understanding, especially in the context of sexuality. Newer Post Older Post Home. The basis for the answer to this question comes from Sedgwick’s understanding and examination of queer theory, which she describes for her readers.

Bellatricksy: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick–Epistemology of the Closet ()

Is she afraid of feminism, bored by lesbians? Does she think that the contradictions work to weaken or strengthen the hegemony of homophobia? Her discussion of ignorance is especially provocative. However, gender is definitionally built sexuality in a way in which race and class do not have an analogue. It will help to keep in mind Freud’s notion of “kettle logic,” which he develops in The Interpretation of Dreams. In her preface, Sedgwick examines the book both personally and historically, as she analyzes the first wave of the AIDS epidemic and its influence on the text.

Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity Anonymous April 1, at 1: Among other things, she says:. She acknowledges her Foucauldian influence, specifically in the recognition of the connection between sexuality and knowledge: It shows a young boy standing next to a young girl, both wearing dresses complete with frills and ruffles.