American Philosophical Society
Member History

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1Name:  Dr. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
 Institution:  City University of New York Graduate Center
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  402. Criticism: Arts and Letters
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1950
 Death Date:  April 12, 2009
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick was one of the most influential figures in gender studies, and more specifically in the burgeoning area of queer theory; indeed, she was a major founder of the field. Her first book, Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire, has been extensively cited and used by feminist critics and queer theorists alike. Not long after, her second crucial work, Epistemology of the Closet, had a similarly powerful impact on the increasingly complex field of gender studies and earned an honorable mention from the committee awarding the MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize. Tendencies, a collection of essays, further extended both the literary and the cultural insights that Dr. Sedgwick brilliantly formulated in her first two books, while Dialogue on Love, published in the same year, is an ambitiously introspective memoir recounting the author's struggle with breast cancer along with her quest to comprehend her own sexuality in contexts she herself has significantly investigated in her key contributions to cultural studies. A poet as well as a critic, Dr. Sedgwick also published a volume of verse, Fat Art, Thin Art, and most recently Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity, a series of essays expanding her work on queer theory and her analyses of the experience of illness into discussions of current theoretical perspectives on pedagogy and performativity. Dr. Sedgwick also edited several collections of essays, including Shame and Its Sisters: A Silvan Tomkins Reader (coedited with Adam Frank, 1995), a selection of key works by the radical psychologist Silvan Tomkins, and Novel Gazing: Queer Readings in Fiction (1997), a series of works reexamining the history of the novel using the framework of queer theory that she has herself so powerfully established. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick was Distinguished Professor of English at the City University of New York. She also taught at Hamilton College, Boston University, Amherst College, Dartmouth College and Duke University. She earned her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1975. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick died on April 12, 2009, in New York, NY, at the age of 58.
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