Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, 1950-2009

April 14, 2009

One of the most influential cultural theorists of her generation, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, died on Sunday following "a long and very public battle with cancer," in the words of David Manning, director of media relations for the CUNY Graduate Center, where Sedgwick was a distinguished professor of English. The author and editor of numerous books, Sedgwick is perhaps best remembered for Epistemology of the Closet (University of California Press, 1990), regarded as one of the founding works of what became known as "queer theory." A volume of her poetry, Fat Art, Thin Art, was published by Duke University Press in 1994. She mixed poetry, memoir, and psychoanalysis in A Dialogue on Love (Beacon, 1999), based on her struggle with breast cancer and depression. Sedgwick received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1975. Before joining the Graduate Center in 1998, she was a professor of English at Duke University, and also taught at Hamilton College, Boston University, and Amherst College. In 2005, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, then to the American Philosophical Society in 2006. --Scott McLemee

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