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Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick 3. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick was one of the most significant literary theorists of the last forty years and a key figure in contemporary queer theory. In this engaging and inspiring guide, Jason Edwards: Paperback , pages. Published January 1st by Routledge first published January 10th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

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Here are my general thoughts: I love how he justifies the difficulty of her text as being a way of breaking with the standardized methodology within academia and that her use of Yiddish, French Here are my general thoughts: I love how he justifies the difficulty of her text as being a way of breaking with the standardized methodology within academia and that her use of Yiddish, French et al merely appear as a way to unsurp the standard heterosexual matrix.

He however ponderously delineates all of her authorial interests detailing their birth dates also to express how intertexual and broad her interests actually are. We should be amazed somehow that she takes interest in modern Hollywood movies and television shows whilst at the same time being a well versed deconstructive literary critic. This is something that Sontag certainly didn't point out in her own work, insisting that such a distinction is pointless and ultimately of no use but to instantiate hierarchical pretensions.

He notably over sells his subject such as the following quotation: I feel as though quotations like this belong in peppered journalism cut outs as prefaces to books as opposed to providing an analysis of a literary theorist. His argument obviously consists of situating Sedgwick as important because of her intertextual interests and wide spanning critical eye, however the literary theorist should not become important merely because they decide not to focus solely on the concerns of literary theory and because they use a ton of different and differing cultural staples within their work, but because their work is significant.

I feel like it undermines theory to be so insistent on the amorphous and difficult to pin down author. It discusses how different conceptualizations of sexuality such as the heterosexuality and homosexuality dyad are anachronistic in the sense that they as terms only emerged fairly recently and thus has a certain contextual significance which brings with it a sense of values and conceptions of sexuality which were not present within classical antiquity or within the nomenclature relating to sexual encounters.

It points out how power was a poignant signifier and sexuality was highly stratified by class, for example the "catamite" and receiver assumptions. It is difficult to conceptualize a working class history of sexuality because the available evidence is tainted by the ideological lens of bourgeois literature. Thus the point being, our conceptions and ideas concerning sexuality differ from historical and cultural contexts. Biblical antiquity associated same sex sexuality with bestiality and had overtones of sin, cultural decline and so on.

This is a complex array of thoughts and thinking, which is conveyed brilliantly. It was partly a response to second wave feminism and the 'homoculpability' to coin my own neologism that men faced in oppressing and using woman for their own ends in a monolithic patriarchal model it's explained in the book the lineage to anthropological ideas and the suggestion of ritual exchange etc.

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The importance thus of Sedgwick centered on the critical observation that the erotic depends on an unpredictable ever shifting array of local factors. It is my opinion that the term "patriarchy" thus loses currency when the central premise was crucially restructured to situate homophobia as well as misogyny because it views power in a gendered way and ignores difference between heterosexual men who can enact "homosexual panic" across differing "discriminant maps" and how this affects women and secondly woman themselves.

Class is critically important as mentioned before when it comes to sexuality and power; something that even multiple patriarchies seems to be disinterested in. I have to say, the author does not give a convincing account of her interest in lesbianism or women generally and seems frantic in order to create the cognitive mapping necessary to defuse her critics, however even if this were the case which it isn't it wouldn't undermine her work elsewhere which was imminent and critically nuanced to undermine the pervading narratives of sexuality at the time.

Her concepts are malleable, showcasing diffusion and historical contingency. It is unclear as to why Sedgwick assumed that females retained a more stabilized gender, [Quote being " Sedgwick believed that to be female was to inhabit a more solid gender position compared to being a man It's certainly not a distinction that seems to hold much credence. It's also notable and needs to be mentioned that Sedgwick's observations referring to "centrality of sexual panic" situated within the female homosocitality reeks of a kind of antiquated "hysteria".

Her important contribution within a literary context however is in situating the queerness outside the character. It would make more sense for us as readers to critically evaluate scenes, experiences and ideas within the context of: Literary criticism and analysis thus begins to decenter the subject and disjoin from standard monolithic perceptions of sexuality. We no longer ought to ask if a character is gay by mere ontology, but what explicitly makes one so. We get a deconstructive analysis of the potential "closet" presents us and the differences each epistemology entails with some people viewing the closet as a coffin, others as a wardrobe etc.

We might also come out the closet in different realizations or utterances which are not distinctively queer. Interestingly this has made me consider the closeting characteristics or marginalizing aspects of my own writing. As is mentioned, writing as "I" situates our experiences in the singular "particularity", whereas "one" is a universalizer which has the ability of normalizing and thus over-reaching, generalizing view points which can lead others to become pathological, marginal, minimized due to this implicit assumption. Another dichotomous framework emerges in "phylogenic and ontogenic questions", more neologisms from Sedgwick to describe firstly the historical processes in which identities are formed, not formed, sutured, manipulated and so on, the second relating to questions of why individuals come to process queer sensibilities.

This again creates a really interesting bunch of theoretical points in how we view history, giving a new slant on Foucault's genealogical methods and secondly on existence itself both in a literary and realistic sense. Ontogenic questions however become buckled with a variety of right wing dialogs about the free market aetiology of the gay man which suggests his sexuality is merely a "preference" in a sea of potential choices, which is particularly odious.

Asking these questions however are not without merit, we gain a variety of subjective experiences and understandings which in-itself rejects the sexualized relativism narrative because we find stories which although personalized have very similar characteristics, settings, loves etc. The idea of identifying silences or textual preterition is really significant and poignant in Sedgwick and has a kind of theoretical relation to deconstructionism, a great example of this deliberate omission from the text is identified in the historical example of not mentioning, not naming homosexuality as a sin not to be spoken of which has obvious social factors such as don't ask don't tell within the military, again all delineated fantastically by the author, with massively quotable sections such as this: Enjambment takes on erotic implications and apparently sentences which do not conform to the standardized subject-object-verb armature, are the literary equivalent of having anal penetration.

Although these are ideas which allow us to examine texts in a more nuanced and abstractual way, they seem wholly subjective and rarely can be explained with reference to countless texts but rather a small sequestrated postmodernist interpretation of a few.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

The sexualized metaphors and understanding of literature, an example being the short story as a quickie, just seems to have an uncritical Freudian linage and using psychodynamical frameworks perhaps dated. A more critical analysis would be merited. Foucault is inverted and the belief that sexuality has a relational affect on identity is challenged, suggesting a distance. I am not sure I wholly relate to Sedwick's point here as ultimately breaking with Foucault since it could be argued that her marital life in all its irregularities still figures her existence and her ontology in really interesting ways.

It's really cool but I am not quite sure the critical points i am meant to derive from it, since it's so deceptively simplistic and merely seems to incorporate a lot of truism. I am interested in how she rewrites literary texts though like for example her insistence on "critical organic catalyst" being a kind of elongated way of Emily Dickinson saying clitoris. Observations like this really make you reconfigure and rework textual meaning and thus the deontological purpose etc etc.

It's interesting how her work focused more on the performative act going wrong and how this could be represented as 'queer'. It's certainly not something that I knew Sedgwick was vocal about. The author however does employ the term "jouissance" in a conflationary way and as interchangeable with enjoyment when really its usage should be restricted specifically to the absolute apex of sexuality, the pinnacle, the highest point, the raw energy.

There is a sustained critical analysis of a poem Sedgwick wrote, using various metaphoric language inferring performative theory. This blurs the line effectively between the academic and the creative, taking the storytelling sociological methodology of the likes of Bauman and polish theory more generally and pushing it to the end Kristeva did this as well in a number of her texts as did other feminists like Cixous This is a point that doesn't really get mentioned as the author focuses closely on the literal implications of the text rather than focusing on what the text means as a wider piece of criticism.

It doesn't strike me as particularly a site of activism or helping to understand our sexuality by making such a comment either. Is child molesting queer on the mere insistence that because its forbidden it has queer potential? I think questions like this may lead us down a really slippery path where we inexplicitly defend actions which ought to have no defense.

It strikes me as odd that bestiality is thus heralded as a form of transgressive activism due to a lack of gender, it just seems to stretch a theoretical point to a methodological extreme. I am invited to suture my discomfort here with Sedwick's previous key concept homosexual panic and the experience of homophobia more generally, as though they are inter-related and have paradigmatic cross over. This volume introduces students of literature and cultural studies to Derrida's…. Paul Ricoeur is one of the most wide-ranging thinkers to emerge in the twentieth century. He has developed a unique 'theory of reading' or hermeneutics, which extends far beyond the reading of literary works to build into a theory for the reading of 'life'.

For this reason, his work has impacted…. More than almost any other contemporary theorist, he has explored the relations between knowledge, art, politics and history, in ways that offer radical new possibilities for thinking about…. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak offers an overtly political challenge to the way we think about literature and culture. As she highlights the many legacies of colonialism, she re-defines the ethical horizons of contemporary critical thought.


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This volume focuses on her key theoretical concepts,…. Since the publication of Gender Trouble in , Judith Butler has revolutionised our understanding of identities and the ways in which they are constructed. This volume examines her critical thought through key texts, touching upon such issues as: Not, according to Gilles Deleuze, in order to be clever, but because thinking transforms life.

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An invaluable introduction to the life and work of one of today's most important cultural critics. Studied on most undergraduate literary and cultural studies courses, Fredric Jameson's writing targets subjects from architecture to science fiction, cinema to global capitalism.

Of his works, The…. Routledge Critical Thinkers Series Editor:. The volumes in the Routledge Critical Thinkers series place each key theorist in his or her historical and intellectual context and explain: Paul Gilroy By Paul Williams Paul Gilroy has been a controversial force at the forefront of debates around race, nation, and diaspora.

Working across a broad range of disciplines, Gilroy has argued that racial identities are historically constructed, formed by colonization, slavery, nationalist philosophies, and consumer… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers. Frantz Fanon By Pramod K. He has influenced the work of thinkers from Edward Said and Homi Bhabha to Paul Gilroy, but his complex work is often misinterpreted as an… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers. Martin Heidegger 2nd Edition By Timothy Clark Since the publication of his mammoth work, Being and Time, Martin Heidegger has remained one of the most influential figures in contemporary thought, and is a key influence for modern literary and cultural theory.

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Jean-Paul Sartre By Christine Daigle A critical figure in twentieth-century literature and philosophy, Jean-Paul Sartre changed the course of critical thought, and claimed a new, important role for the intellectual. Sigmund Freud 2nd Edition By Pamela Thurschwell The work of Sigmund Freud has penetrated almost every area of literary theory and cultural studies, as well as contemporary culture.

This updated second edition explores developments and… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers. Edward Said 2nd Edition By Bill Ashcroft , Pal Ahluwalia Edward Said is perhaps best known as the author of the landmark study Orientalism, a book which changed the face of critical theory and shaped the emerging field of post-colonial studies, and for his controversial journalism on the Palestinian political situation. Hannah Arendt By Simon Swift Hannah Arendt's work offers a powerful critical engagement with the cultural and philosophical crises of mid-twentieth-century Europe.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick By Jason Edwards Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick was one of the most significant literary theorists of the last forty years and a key figure in contemporary queer theory. His work on literary, artistic, and musical forms, his devastating indictment of modern industrial society, and his profound grasp of Western culture from Homer to Hollywood have made him one… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers.

Stephen Greenblatt By Mark Robson Stephen Greenblatt is the most important exponent of 'new historicism', a dynamic critical movement which rejects the traditional reliance on individual canonical texts, exploring a multitude of other, more marginal works and voices. Questioning not just literary but social, political and cultural… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers.

Theorists of Modernist Poetry T. Hulme, Ezra Pound By Rebecca Beasley Modernist poetry heralded a radical new aesthetic of experimentation, pioneering new verse forms and subjects, and changing the very notion of what it meant to be a poet. Hulme and Ezra Pound, three of the most influential figures of the modernist movement, and… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers. Paul Virilio By Ian James Paul Virilio is a challenging and original thinker whose work on technology, state power and war is increasingly relevant today.

It introduces key ideas, and includes detailed discussion of the work of two key thinkers in this area, Manuel Castells and Donna Haraway, as well as outlining the… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers. Exploring the connections between their theories, Parsons pays particular… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers. Concepts from their work have become part of the fabric of novel criticism today, influencing theorists, authors and readers… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers.

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Antonio Gramsci By Steven Jones For readers encountering Gramsci for the first time, Steve Jones covers key elements of his thought through detailed discussion and studies the historical context of the theorist's thought, offers examples of putting Gramsci's ideas into practice in the analysis of contemporary culture and… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers.

This volume explores his writings and their influence on postcolonial theory, introducing in clear and accessible language the key concepts of his work, such as 'ambivalence', 'mimicry', 'hybridity'… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers. Louis Althusser By Luke Ferretter Best known for his theories of ideology and its impact on politics and culture, Louis Althusser revolutionized Marxist theory. Jacques Lacan By Sean Homer Jacques Lacan is one of the most challenging and controversial of contemporary thinkers, as well as the most influential psychoanalyst since Freud.

Stuart Hall By James Procter James Procter's introduction places Hall's work within its historical contexts, providing a clear guide to his key ideas and influences, as well as to his critics and his intellectual legacy. Simone de Beauvoir By Ursula Tidd Simone de Beauvoir's groundbreaking work has transformed the way we think about gender and identity.

A leading figure in French existentialism, Beauvoir's concepts of 'becoming woman' and of woman as '… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers. Julia Kristeva By Noelle McAfee One of the most original thinkers of the twentieth century, Julia Kristeva has been driving forward the fields of literary and cultural studies since the s. Roland Barthes By Graham Allen Roland Barthes is a central figure in the study of language, literature, culture and the media.

Approaching critical theory and psychoanalysis in a recklessly entertaining fashion, Zizek's critical eye alights upon a bewildering and exhilarating range of subjects, from the political apathy of contemporary life, to a joke about the man who thinks he's a… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick by Jason Edwards

His radical reworkings of the concepts of power, knowledge, discourse and identity have influenced the widest possible range of theories and impacted upon disciplinary fields from literary studies to… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers. Friedrich Nietzsche By Lee Spinks It is difficult to imagine a world without common sense, the distinction between truth and falsehood, the belief in some form of morality or an agreement that we are all human.

But Friedrich Nietzsche did imagine such a world, and his work has become a crucial point of departure for contemporary… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers.


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  • This volume introduces students of literature and cultural studies to Derrida's… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers. For this reason, his work has impacted… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers. More than almost any other contemporary theorist, he has explored the relations between knowledge, art, politics and history, in ways that offer radical new possibilities for thinking about… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers.

    Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak By Stephen Morton Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak offers an overtly political challenge to the way we think about literature and culture. This volume focuses on her key theoretical concepts,… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers.

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    Judith Butler By Sara Salih Since the publication of Gender Trouble in , Judith Butler has revolutionised our understanding of identities and the ways in which they are constructed. With his emphasis on creation, the future and the enhancement of… Paperback — Routledge Routledge Critical Thinkers.