English Language & Literature

Reading Sedgwick

Editor, Duke University Press Books, 2019


Reading Sedgwick, a book from the Theory Q series from Duke University Press, brings together a collection of theorists to reflect on the many critical interventions of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (1969-2009).  These essays engage with Sedgwick’s contributions to literary criticism and her development of new version of queer performativity. Reflecting on Sedgwick’s work in our current political era highlights her contributions as an “ ongoing vital force in queer theory and affect theory,” and helps us to “build a more positive world in the midst of the bleak contemporary moment.” Read more from Lauren Berlant on the experience of editing Reading Sedgwick. 


For more on Sedgwick, read an interview with Eve Sedgwick about the formation of Queer Studies in Frieze, and an a profile on her enduring legacy in The New Yorker.

Read The New Yorker's profile on Professor Lauren Berlant and affect theory in the age of anxiety

Lauren Berlant discusses the book here (and below):

“Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's writing remains indispensable, never more so than now when the light of her intelligence illuminates a darkening horizon. We need her intelligence, her queer sensibility, and her way with words. Reading Sedgwick will be welcome both for those encountering her for the first time and as a reprise for those wishing to be reminded of her work's particular charm, enlivening curiosity, and power.”


— Christina Crosby, author of A Body, Undone: Living on after Great Pain


Lauren Berlant is George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor of English at the University of Chicago. Her books include: with Lee Edelman, Sex, or the Unbearable (Duke UP, 2014); Desire/Love (Punctum, 2012); Cruel Optimism (Duke UP, 2011), The Female Complaint (Duke UP, 2008), The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship (Duke UP, 1997), Intimacy, ed. (2000); Compassion, ed. (Routledge, 2004), The Anatomy of National Fantasy: Hawthorne, Utopia, and Everyday Life (Chicago, 1991); and, most recently, with Kathleen Stewart, The Hundreds (Duke UP, 2019).