Sociology Index

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (May 2, 1950 – April 12, 2009) was an American academic scholar in the fields of gender studies, queer theory, and critical theory. Her critical writings helped create the field of queer studies. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick published several books considered "groundbreaking" in the field of queer theory, including Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (1985), Epistemology of the Closet (1990), and Tendencies (1993). Her works reflect an interest in a range of issues, including queer performativity; experimental critical writing; the works of Marcel Proust; non-Lacanian psychoanalysis. Queer culture is LGBT subculture.

Drawing on feminist scholarship and the work of Paul Michel Foucault, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick analyzed homoerotic subplots in the work of writers like Charles Dickens and Henry James. Sedgwick argued that an understanding of virtually any aspect of modern Western culture would be incomplete if it failed to incorporate a critical analysis of modern homo/heterosexual definition. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick figures among eminent sociologists of the world.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick coined the terms Homosocial and Antihomophobic. Sedgwick and her colleagues were in the academic avant-garde of the culture wars, using literary criticism to question dominant discourses of sexuality, race, gender, and the boundaries of literary criticism. Sedgwick first presented her particular collection of critical tools and interests in the influential volumes Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (1985) and Epistemology of the Closet (1990).

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's disciplinary interests included history, art history, philosophy, cultural studies, anthropology, women's studies and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) studies. Her theoretical interests have been synoptic, assimilative and eclectic.