Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (SEHJ-wihk) was born in 1950, the daughter of Leon Sedgwick, an engineer, and Rita Goldstein, a high school teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude at Cornell University in 1971 and went on to earn a master’s in philosophy in 1974 and a Ph.D. in 1975 at Yale University. From 1975 to 1976 she was an instructor in English at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. From 1978 to 1981 she served as an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Boston University, where she also cofounded the Women’s Studies Committee, the Faculty for Women’s Concerns, and the Rousseau and Wollstonecraft Seminars.

From 1981 to 1983 she was on the faculty at Harvard University’s Radcliffe College and a faculty fellow at the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute. She joined the faculty of Duke University as an associate professor of English and women’s studies in 1984, where she founded the lecture series “Sex, Gender, Representation.” In 1987 Sedgwick was the Mrs. William Beckman Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and in 1992 she was a professor at Dartmouth College; from 1991 to 1992 she was a research fellow at the National Humanities Center. She has judged literary awards for the Modern Language Association of America, including the James Russell Lowell Prize, the Crompton-Noll Award in Gay and Lesbian Studies, and the Michael Lynch Service Award. She served on the Board of Trustees of The English Institute and the Dickens Society, and from 1985 to 1986 she was the co-chairperson of the Modern Language Association’s Commission on the Status of Women in the Profession.

Sedgwick was the recipient of a number of awards, honors, and prizes, including a Mellon fellowship (1976 to 1978) and a Kirkland Endowment (1980 and 1981); she was corecipient of the Crompton-Noll Award in Gay and Lesbian Studies from the Gay and Lesbian Caucus of the Modern Language Association for her article “Homophobia, Misogyny, and Capital: The Example of Our Mutual Friend” (1984). From 1987 to 1988 she was a Guggenheim Fellow.

In addition to her books, Sedgwick published articles in such distinguished literary journals as South Atlantic Quarterly,...

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(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Fraiman, Susan. “Geometries of Race and Gender: Eve Sedgwick, Spike Lee, Charlayne Hunter-Gault.” Feminist Studies 20, no. 1 (Spring, 1994): 67-84. Begins with Sedgwick’s premise of a three-sided relationship in which two men bond over a woman and amplifies the triangle to include race, as well as gender and sexuality.

Loftus, Brian. “Speaking Silence: The Strategies and Structures of Queer Autobiography.” College Literature 24 (February, 1997): 28-44. Discusses Sedgwick’s autobiographical work along with that of Gertrude Stein.

Payne, W. Douglas. “Resisting Normalization: Queer Theory in an Interval.” College Literature 26 (Spring, 1999): 200-209. Novel Gazing is reviewed along with two other works in an overview of the state of the field of queer theory.

Simerka, Barbara. “Homosociality and Dramatic Conflict: A Reconsideration of Early Modern Spanish Comedy.” Hispanic Review 70 (Autumn, 2002): 521-534. Applies Sedgwick’s theories of homosociality.