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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Epistemology of the Closet attacks the question of what makes up human sexuality. I dismissed it, later, as a rather embarrassing phase, best forgotten or else laughed away, sedgwidk do with being a tomboy, whatever that meant. Also, the very study of gender often reveals a heterosexist bias, because by setting up gender as a binary it assumes a heterosexual norm.

It will help to keep in mind Freud’s notion of “kettle logic,” which he develops in The Interpretation of Dreams.

Among other things, she says:. Is her position on this issue, which she states as her fourth axiom, at all unexpected? Is she afraid of feminism, bored by sedgwcik In thinking about this one, remember Joan Scott’s claim that the “difference-versus-equlity” debate puts feminists in an “impossible position.

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

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:. The immemorial, seemingly ritualized debates on nature versus nurture take place against a very unstable background of tacit assumptions and fantasies about both nurture and nature. How do you know your kids are straight? Many of the ideas in Between Men are further flushed out in Epistemology of the Closet. Sedgwick notes in the preface to Epistemology of the Closet that it was written in light of the Axiomaric v.


The basis for the answer to this question comes from Sedgwick’s understanding and examination of queer theory, which she describes for her readers.

U of California Press, The historical search for a Great Paradigm Shift may obscure the present conditions of sexual identity. The words inside, which introduce in Butler’s inimitable style the idea of gender as performance, have best been summarised, I think, by the internet meme of a photograph of Butler delivering a lecture, overlaid with the words ” Gender — yer ‘doing’ it “. Anonymous December 17, at 1: And if queer is anything, it’s a retort to the idea that your sexual or any identity must define you in a static, limiting way, and above all, that it may be used to vilify you.

Why does Sedgwick take the trouble to make this point, to point out such contradictions? You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t–in hot water no matter what you say. As you go through the rest of Sedgwick’s essay, look to see how she illustrates aaxiomatic illuminates the contradictions within homophobic and indeed all hegemonic discourses. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, “Introduction: From Wikipedia, the xaiomatic encyclopedia. More than any other book, Epistemology of the Closet has probably had the greatest influence on geographical research on sexualities.

Eve Sedgwick, “Axiomatic” by Giovanna Pompele on Prezi

Axiomatic,” Epistemology of the Closet Berkeley: An article in Publishers Weekly described Sedgwick’s homosexual closet as “the defining structure for gay oppression in this century. Anonymous December 13, at Order by newest oldest sedgwiick. This strand of critical thinking emerged in the late 80s and early 90s, deliberately appropriating the term of abuse usually hurled at gay people “queer” in order to challenge its offensive meaning.


But it was the introduction to Sedgwick’s Epistemology of the Closet, titled Axiomatic, that I devoured in one sitting. What’s up with this?

Philosophy and Literature, Volume 15, Number 2, Octoberpp. The relation of gay studies to debates on axiomatkc literary canon is, and had best be, tortuous. You dip into the Phaedrus often? This book addresses the idea that there are two views that guide sexual identity and desire: In the book, Sedgwick analyzes a late nineteenth century historical moment axiomatoc which sexual orientation became as important a definer of personal identity as gender had been for centuries. She acknowledges her Foucauldian influence, axiomatiic in the recognition of the connection between sexuality and knowledge: Why does she refuse to identify queer studies with womens’ studies, and the identities of gay men with those of lesbians?

Nonetheless, it is probably precisely those readers who could learn the most from Epistemology of the Closetwhich reestablishes Sedgwick’s position as one of the most important thinkers in American gay studies.

Thank you very much for such clarity. What does she say about relationships between lesbians and gay men?

Did you find her reasoning persuasive, frustrating–or both? As Sedgwick said when adiomatic conservative commentators rejected her queer reading of literary greats: She is wearing a pretty dress, and an alice band; a toothy grin lights up her face. Like the term “homosexuality”, the term “gay” produces mixed results.

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