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Summary and Analysis of Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick



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Sometime back in the middle of the first decade of the AIDS epidemic, I was picking the brains of critical essays higher degrees friend of mine, the activist scholar Cindy Patton, about the probable natural history of HIV. This was at a time when speculation was ubiquitous about whether the virus had been deliberately engineered or spread, whether HIV represented a plot or experiment by the U. To know that the origin or spread of HIV realistically might have resulted from a state-assisted conspiracy—such knowledge is, it turns out, separable from the question of whether the energies of a given aids activist intellectual or group might best be used in the tracing and exposure of such a possible plot.

They might, but then again, they might not. Though ethically very fraught, the choice is not self-evident; whether or not to political cartoon analytical essay this highly compelling tracing-and-exposure project represents a strategic and local decision, not necessarily a categorical imperative. Howin short, is knowledge performative, and hulp bij master thesis best does one move among its causes and effects? I suppose this ought to seem quite an unremarkable epiphany: that knowledge does rather than simply is it is by now very routine to discover. Yet it seems that a lot of the real force of such essays about the golden rule has been blunted through the habitual practices of the same forms of critical theory that have given such broad currency Personal Narrative-The Most Dangerous Game the formulae themselves.

Ricoeur introduced the category of the hermeneutics of suspicion to describe the position of Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and their intellectual offspring in a context structure of a term paper also included such alternative disciplinary hermeneutics as the philological and theological «hermeneutics of recovery of meaning.

In the context of recent U. Always historicize? What could have less to do with historicizing than the commanding, atemporal adverb «always»? It reminds me of the bumper stickers that instruct people in other cars to «Question Authority. The imperative framing will do funny things to a hermeneutics of suspicion. Not surprisingly, the methodological centrality of suspicion to current critical baby brianna autopsy has involved a concomitant privileging of the concept of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary.

Freud was indeed later to generalize, famously, that «the delusions of paranoiacs have an unpalatable external similarity and internal kinship to the systems of our philosophers»—among whom Gender Lens In Walt Disneys Fairytales included himself For all his slyness, it may be true that the putative congruence between paranoia and theory was unpalatable to Freud; if so, however, it is no longer viewed as unpalatable. The articulation of such a congruence may have been inevitable, at any rate; as Ricoeur notes, «For Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, the Transition In Professional Nursing category of consciousness is the relation hidden-shown or, if you prefer, simulated-manifested.

The two go together, since the man of suspicion carries out in reverse the work of falsification of the man of guile» 33— The man of suspicion double-bluffing the man of guile: in the hands of thinkers after Freud, paranoia has by now candidly become less a diagnosis than a prescription. Even aside from the prestige that now attaches to a hermeneutics of suspicion in critical theory as a whole, cause and effect essay reality shows studies in particular has had a distinctive history of intimacy with the paranoid imperative.

Freud, of course, traced every instance of paranoia to the repression of specifically same-sex desire, whether help with writing a literature review women or in men. If paranoia reflects the repression of same-sex desire, Hocquenghem reasoned, then paranoia is a uniquely privileged site for illuminating not homosexuality itself, as in the Freudian tradition, but rather precisely the mechanisms of homophobic and heterosexist enforcement against it. What is illuminated by an understanding of paranoia is not how homosexuality works, but how homophobia and heterosexism work—in short, if one understands these oppressions to be systemic, how the world works.

Paranoia thus Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary by the mids a privileged object of antihomophobic theory. How did it spread so quickly from that status to being its uniquely sanctioned methodology? I have been looking back into my own writing of the s as well as that of some other critics, trying to retrace that transition—one that seems worthy of remark now but seemed at the time, I think, the most natural move in the world.

Part of the explanation lies in a property of paranoia itself. Simply put, paranoia tends to be contagious; more specifically, paranoia is drawn toward and tends to construct symmetrical relations, in particular, symmetrical epistemologies. As Leo Bersani writes, «To inspire interest Great Gatsby Love to be guaranteed a paranoid reading, just as we must inevitably be suspicious of the interpretations we inspire. Paranoia is an inescapable interpretive doubling of presence» It sets a thief and, if necessary, becomes one to catch a thief; it mobilizes guile against suspicion, suspicion against guile; «it takes one to know one.

All these examples, by the way, are fictitious. Given that paranoia seems to have a peculiarly intimate relation to the phobic dynamics around homosexuality, then, it may have been structurally inevitable that the reading Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary that became most available and fruitful in antihomophobic work would often in turn have been paranoid ones.

There must have been historical as well as structural reasons for this development, however, because it is less easy to account on structural terms for the frequent privileging of paranoid methodologies in recent nonqueer critical projects such as feminist theory, psychoanalytic theory, deconstruction, Marxist criticism, or the New Historicism. In fact, it seems quite plausible that some version of this axiom perhaps «Even a The Influence Of Social Media On Women can have enemies,» uttered by Henry Kissinger is rita hayworth and the shawshank redemption essays indelibly inscribed in Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary brains of baby boomers that it offers us the continuing illusion of possessing a special insight into the epistemologies of enmity.

My impression, again, is that we are liable to produce creative writing description of a car crash constative formulation as fiercely as if it had a self-evident imperative the kite runner rape scene the notation that even paranoid people have enemies list of tables in dissertations wielded as if its absolutely necessary corollary were the injunction «so critical essays higher degrees can never be paranoid enough.

How are we to understand paranoia in such a way as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary situate it as one kind of epistemological practice among other, alternative ones? The flexible to-and-fro movement implicit in Kleinian positions will be useful for my discussion of paranoid and reparative critical practicesnot as theoretical ideologies and certainly not as stable personality types of criticsbut as changing and heterogeneous relational stances. Given the instability and mutual hulp bij master thesis built into the Kleinian notion of positions, I am also, in the present project, interested in doing justice to the powerful reparative practices that, I am convinced, infuse self-avowedly paranoid critical projects, as well as in the paranoid exigencies that are often necessary for nonparanoid knowing and utterance.

Each, as well, is interestingly located in a tacit or ostensibly marginal, but in hindsight originary and authorizing relation to different strains of queer theory. Finally, I draw a sense of permission from the fact that perseus and the gorgons head book is any longer very representative of the most recent work of either author, so that observations about the reading practices of either book may, I hope, escape being glued as if allegorically to the name of the author. I would like to begin by setting outside the scope of this discussion Cultural Reflective Essay What Is Cultural Sensitivity overlap between paranoia per se on the one hand, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary on gesells theory of maturation other hand the states variously called dementia praecox by Kraepelinschizophrenia by Bleuleror, more generally, delusionality or psychosis.

As Laplanche do higher art essays Pontalis note, the history of psychiatry has attempted various mappings of this overlap: «Kraepelin differentiates clearly between Chivalry In Todays Society on the one hand and the paranoid form of dementia praecox on the other; Bleuler Ivan Milat Research Paper paranoia as a sub-category of dementia praecox, or the group of schizophrenias; as for Freud, he is quite english essay finder to see certain so-called paranoid forms of dementia praecox brought under the Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary of paranoia.

The reason I want to insist in advance on this move is, once again, to try to hypothetically disentangle the question of truth value from the question of performative effect. I am saying that the main reasons for questioning paranoid practices are other than can world peace be achieved essay possibility that their suspicions can be delusional or simply wrong.

Concomitantly, some of the main reasons for practicing paranoid strategies may be other than famous quotes for an essay possibility that they offer unique access to true knowledge. They represent a way, among other ways, of seeking, finding, and organizing knowledge. Paranoia knows some things well and others poorly. My main headings are:. Paranoia is anticipatory. Paranoia is reflexive and mimetic. Paranoia is a strong theory. Paranoia is a theory of negative affects. Paranoia places its faith in exposure. That paranoia is anticipatory is clear from Reoccurring Theme Of Appearance And Reality In Macbeth account and theory of the phenomenon.

The first imperative of paranoia is There must be no bad surprises Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary, and indeed, the aversion to surprise seems to be what cements the intimacy between battle of britain research paper and knowledge per se, including both epistemophilia and skepticism. Miller notes in The Novel and the Police«Surprise … Franklin D Roosevelt Dq precisely what the paranoid seeks to eliminate, but it is also what, in the event, he survives by reading as a frightening incentive: he can never be paranoid enough» The unidirectionally future-oriented vigilance of paranoia generates, paradoxically, a complex relation to temporality that burrows both backward and forward: because there must be no bad surprises, and because learning of the possibility of a bad surprise would itself constitute a bad surprise, paranoia requires that bad news be always already known.

And no loss could be too far in the future to need to be preemptively discounted. In noting, as I have already, the contagious tropism of paranoia toward symmetrical epistemologies, I have relied on the double senses of paranoia as reflexive and mimetic. Paranoia seems to require being imitated to be understood, and it, in turn, seems to understand only by imitation. Paranoia proposes both Anything you can do to me I can do worseand Anything you can do to me I can do first —to myself. In The Novel and the PoliceMiller is much more explicit than Freud in embracing the twin propositions that one understands paranoia only by oneself practicing paranoid knowing, and that the way paranoia has of understanding anything is by imitating and embodying it.

It seems no wonder, then, that paranoia, once the topic is broached essay how to write a good conclusion a nondiagnostic context, seems to grow like a crystal in a hypersaturated solution, blotting out any sense of the possibility of alternative ways of understanding or things to understand. I will say more later about some implications of the status of paranoia as, in this sense, inevitably a «strong theory. As I pointed out in a essay in which my implicit reference was, as it happens, to one of the essays later collected in The Novel and the Police«The problem here is not simply that paranoia is a form of love, for—in a certain language—what is not?

The problem is rather that, of all forms of love, paranoia is the most ascetic, the love that demands least from its object. At the risk of being awfully reductive, I suggest that this anticipatory, mimetic mechanism may also shed light on a striking feature of recent feminist and queer uses of psychoanalysis. Lacan aside, few actual psychoanalysts would dream of being as rigorously insistent as are many oppositional theorists—of whom Butler is very far from the most single-minded—in asserting the inexorable, irreducible, uncircumnavigable, omnipresent centrality, at every psychic juncture, of the facts however factitious of «sexual difference» and «the phallus. Not that they are necessarily prior to «sexual difference»: comparative essay on anorexia and bulimia may simply be conceptualized as somewhere to the side of it, tangentially or contingently related or even rather unrelated to it.

Seemingly, the reservoir of such thought and speculation Importance Of Boundary Boundaries make an important resource for help with writing a literature review committed help with writing a literature review thinking about human lives otherwise than through the prejudicious gender reifications that are common in psychoanalysis as in other projects of modern philosophy and science. What has happened instead, I think, is something like the following.

First, through what might be called a process of vigilant scanning, feminists and queers have rightly understood that no topic or area of psychoanalytic thought can be declared a priori immune to the influence of such gender reifications. Second, however—and, it seems to me, unnecessarily and often damagingly—the lack of such a priori immunity, the absence of any guaranteed nonprejudicial point of beginning for feminist thought within psychoanalysis has led to the widespread adoption by some thinkers of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary anticipatory mimetic strategy whereby a certain, stylized violence of sexual differentiation must always be presumed or self-assumed —even, where necessary, imposed—simply on the ground that it can never be finally ruled out.

Butler, among others, has taught us a much less deadening use of «mimetic. The contingent possibilities of thinking otherwise than through «sexual difference» are subordinated to the paranoid imperative that, if the violence of such gender reification cannot be definitively halted in advance, it must at least never arrive on any conceptual scene as a surprise. In a paranoid view, it is more dangerous for such reification ever to be unanticipated than often to be unchallenged.

It is for reasons like these that, in the work of Silvan Tomkins, paranoia is offered as the example help with writing a literature review excellence of what Tomkins refers to as «strong affect theory»—in this case, a strong humiliation or humiliation-fear theory. As a result, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary would be from the start no ontological difference between the theorizing acts of a Freud and those of, say, one of his analysands. Most pointedly, the contrast of strong theory in Tomkins is with weak theory, sites for software engineering assignment the contrast is not in every respect to the advantage of the strong kind. The reach and reductiveness of strong theory—that is, its conceptual economy or elegance—involve both assetsanddeficits.

WhatcharacterizesstrongtheoryinTomkinsisnot,after Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary, how well it avoids negative affect or finds positive affect, but the size and topology of the domain that it organizes. This is a commonly help with writing a literature review criterion by which the explanatory power of any scientific theory can be evaluated. To the extent to which the theory can account only for «near» phenomena, it is a weak theory, little better than a description of the phenomena which it purports to explain.

As it orders more and more remote phenomena to a single formulation, its power grows. Affect — As this account suggests, far from becoming stronger white noise thesis statement obviating or axe advertisement essay humiliation, a humiliation theory becomes stronger exactly insofar as it fails to do so.

Conversely, a negative affect theory gains in strength, paradoxically, by virtue of the continuing failures of its strategies to afford protection through successful avoidance of the experience of negative affect. It is the repeated and apparently uncontrollable spread of the experience of negative affect which prompts the increasing strength of the ideo-affective organization which we have called a strong affect theory» — An affect theory is, among other things, a mode of selective scanning and amplification; for this reason, any affect theory risks being somewhat tautological, but because of its wide reach and rigorous exclusiveness, a strong theory risks being strongly tautological:.

Help with writing a literature review have said that there is over-organization in monopolistic humiliation theory. By this we mean not only that there is excessive integration between sub-systems which are normally more independent, but also that each subsystem is over-specialized in the interests of minimizing the experience of humiliation. Like any highly organized effort at detection, as little as possible is left to chance. The radar antennae are placed wherever it seems possible the enemy may attack. Affect More usually, however, the roles in this drama are more mixed or more widely distributed. But who reads The Novel and the Best public defender cover letter to find out whether its main argument is true?

In many ways, such an arrangement is all to the good—suggestive, pleasurable, and highly productive; an insistence that everything means one thing somehow permits Ignorance Of Power Essay sharpened sense of all the ways there are of meaning it.

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Sedgwick published several books considered groundbreaking in the field of queer theory, [1] and her critical writings helped create the field of queer studiesin which she was one of the most influential figures. In her book Between Menshe analyzed male homosocial desire and English literature. Inshe published "Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl", an article that antigone hero essay attention as part of an American culture war help with writing a literature review criticism for associating the works of Jane Austen with sex.

She coined the terms homosocial and antihomophobic. Her works reflected an interest in a argument essay distance learning of issues, including charles lawrence on racist speech thesis performativityEve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary critical writing, the works Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary Marcel Proustnon- Lacanian psychoanalysisrelationship between legislation policies and procedures books, Buddhism and pedagogythe affective theories of Silvan Tomkins and Melanie Kleinand material cultureespecially textiles and texture.

She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her masters and Ph. During her time at Duke, Sedgwick and her colleagues were in the academic avant-garde of the culture wars, [14] using literary criticism to question dominant discourses of sexualityracegenderand the boundaries of literary criticism. Sedgwick first presented her particular collection of critical tools and interests in the influential volumes Between Men: English Literature Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary Male Homosocial Desire and Epistemology of the Closet She married Hal Sedgwick in Inshe was elected to the American Philosophical Society.

Inshe found a lump on her breast while she was getting her post-doctoral fellowship. She underwent a radical mastectomy where all of her right Andrea Pia Yates Case Study Psychology and all of the lymph nodes from her right armpit were removed. She underwent chemotherapy. Sedgwick's work ranges across a wide variety of media and genres; poetry and artworks are not easily separated from the rest of her texts. Hulp bij master thesis interests included literary studies, history, art history, film studies, philosophy, civil rights essay outline studies, anthropology, women's studies and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex LGBTI studies.

Her theoretical interests have been synoptic, assimilative and eclectic. Sedgwick aimed to make readers more what is arena case study software engineering to the "potential queer nuances" of literature, encouraging the reader to displace their help with writing a literature review identifications in favour of searching out "queer idioms. For example, in Henry JamesSedgwick was said to have observed that words and concepts like 'fond', 'foundation', 'issue', 'assist', 'fragrant', 'flagrant', 'glove', 'gage', 'centre', 'circumference', 'aspect', 'medal' and words containing the sound 'rect', essay on bookish knowledge any words that contain their anagrams, may all have "anal-erotic associations.

Sedgwick drew on the work of literary critic Christopher Craft to argue that both puns and good will hunting thesis statements might be re-imagined as "homoerotic because homophonic"; citing literary critic Jonathan DollimoreSedgwick suggests that grammatical inversion might have an equally intimate relation to sexual inversion; she suggested that readers may want to "sensitise" themselves to "potentially queer" rhythms of certain grammatical, syntactical, rhetorical, and generic sentence structures; scenes of childhood spanking were eroticised, and associated with macbeth act 2 scene 1 essay lines and lyric as a genre; enjambment continuing a thought from one line, couplet, or stanza to the next without a syntactical break had potentially queer erotic implications; finally, while thirteen-line poems allude to the sonnet form, by rejecting the final rhyming couplet it was possible to "resist the heterosexual couple as a paradigm", suggesting instead the potential The Crucible Judge Palmer Effect pleasures of solitude.

Sedgwick encouraged readers to consider "potential queer erotic resonances" in the writing of Henry James. Sedgwick makes this claim based on certain grammatical features of the text. She suggests that critics should instead approach texts and look at "their empowering, productive as well as renewing potential to promote semantic innovation, personal healing and social change. Reparative readings "contrasts with familiar academic protocols like maintaining critical distance, outsmarting and other forms of one-upmanshiprefusing to be surprised critical essays higher degrees if you are, then not letting onbelieving the hierarchy, becoming boss.

Sedgwick published several foundational books in the field of queer theory, including Between Men: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary Literature and Male Homosocial DesireEpistemology of the Closetand Tendencies Her first book, The Coherence Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary Gothic Conventionswas a revision of her doctoral thesis. Her last book Touching Feeling maps her interest in affect, pedagogy, Dress Code Thesis performativity. Jonathan Goldberg edited her late essays and lectures, many of which are segments from an unfinished study of Proust. According to Goldberg, these late writings also examine such subjects as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary, object relations and affect theory, psychoanalytic writers essay on poverty in punjabi language as Melanie KleinSilvan TomkinsD.

Winnicottand Michael Balintthe poetry of C. Cavafyphilosophical Neoplatonismand identity politics. According to Sedgwick, Between Men demonstrates "the Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary of men's same-sex bonds, and their prohibitive structuration, to male-female bonds Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary nineteenth-century English literature. The book explores the oppressive effects on women and men of a cultural system where male-male desire could become intelligible thesis of panopticism by being routed through nonexistent desire involving a woman.

Sedgwick's "male homosocial desire" referred to all male bonds. Sedgwick used the sociological Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary "homosocial" to distinguish from "homosexual" and to connote a form of male bonding often accompanied by a fear or hatred of homosexuality, [37] rejecting the then-available lexical and conceptual alternatives to challenge the idea that hetero- bi- and homosexual men and experiences could be easily differentiated. Sedgwick's inspiration for Epistemology came from reading D.

Sedgwick is perhaps best known not for her books, but rather for an article she published in"Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl. Sedgwick felt Kimball's criticism of her Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary Tenured Radicals was highly unfair, given she had not actually written the article, which was published only in the summer ofand therefore he dismissed hulp bij master thesis article only on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary basis of the title. In her Womens Rights Convention Analysis, Sedgwick juxtaposed three treatments of female suffering, namely Marianne Dashwood's emotional frenzy when Willoughby abandons her in Sense and Sensibilitya 19th-century French medical account of the "cure" inflicted on a girl who liked to masturbate, and the critic Tony Tanner 's "vengeful" treatment of Emma Woodhouse as a woman who had to be taught her place.

Sedgwick argued that the pleasure that Austen's readers take from Marianne's suffering is typical of Austen scholarship, which was centered around what Sedgwick called the central theme of a "A Girl Being Taught a Lesson". InDuke Postmodernism In Night Of The Living Dead Press published a collection of Sedgwick's essays from the s and early s. The essays span a wide range of genres, including elegies for activists and scholars who research papers on legalizing marijuana of AIDS, performance pieces, and academic essays on topics such as sado-masochism, poetics and masturbation.

According to trans theorist Jay Prosser, Tendencies is also relevant, for it is Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary that Sedgwick "has revealed her personal transgendered investment lying at and as the great heart of her queer project. Nobody knows more fully, more fatalistically than a fat woman how unbridgeable the gap is between the Auto Traffic Safety Case Study Firefighters we see and the Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary as whom we are seen… and no one help with writing a literature review appreciate more fervently the act of magical faith by which it may be possible, at last, to assert and believe, against every social possibility, that the self we see can be made visible as if through our Tim Marlins Vagrant Hills eyes to the people who see us… Dare I, after this half-decade, call it with all a Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary woman's defiance, my identity?

InSedgwick was diagnosed with breast cancer and subsequently wrote the book A Dialogue on Love. Though the title connotes the Platonic dialogues, the form of the book was inspired by James Merrill 's "Prose of Departure" which followed a seventeenth-century Japanese form of persiflage known as haibun. The book also reveals Sedgwick's growing interest in Buddhist thought, textiles, and texture.

Touching Feeling is written as a reminder of the early days of queer theory, which Sedgwick discusses briefly in the introduction Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary order to reference the affective conditions—chiefly the emotions provoked by the AIDS epidemic —that prevailed at the time and to bring into focus her principal theme: the relationship between memory research paper, learning, and action. Touching Feeling explores critical methods that may engage politically and help shift the foundations for individual and collective experience.

In the opening paragraph, Sedgwick describes her project as the exploration of "promising tools and techniques for nondualistic thought and pedagogy. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary move to sidebar hide. Article Talk. Read Edit View history. Tools Tools. Download as PDF Printable version. In other projects. Personal Values In Social Work Commons Wikiquote. American scholar of queer theory — The Center for the Humanities. Retrieved 13 June Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick 1st ed. New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN Gale Virtual Reference Library. Accessed 13 June Project MUSE, doi The New Essay on animal cruelty in circuses Hulp bij master thesis.

ISSN Retrieved Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary Chronicle of Higher Education. Eve Kosofsky Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary. Routledge Critical Thinkers. Tablet Magazine. Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences. Cornell Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary. Retrieved 10 December Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Summary April 30, The New Problems to write about in essays. ISSN X. The Guardian. The voice of breast cancer in medicine and bioethics. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

OCLC The Limits of Critique. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. S2CID December JSTOR Second Help with writing a literature review The body narratives of transsexuality. Columbia University Press. Durham: Duke University Press. Wikiquote has quotations related to Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. Authority control databases. Toggle limited content width. At her Declining Population In Japan in New York City, April 12, aged 58 New York City, U. Academic author critic poet.

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