In this book, Sedgwick examines texts from Europe and America such as Wilde, Nietzsche and Proust and considers the historical moment when sexual orientation came to be as important a signifier of personhood as gender had been for centuries. In doing this, Sedgwick provides a history of sexuality that contends that the dualistic homo/heterosexual model is as much a basis for modern culture as it is an outcome of it. Thus, Sedgwick laid the foundations of Queer Theory, contributing to the contemporary debates regarding the relationship between desire and normative structures of power, the question of empirical sexuality, and the intricacies of the relationship between sexuality and gender.
Christien Garcia is a scholar of Visual Culture, and Gender and Sexuality Studies. He recently completed his PhD in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University and is currently a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow.
Ways in to the text Who was Eve Sedgwick? What does The Epistemology of the Closet say? Why does The Epistemology of the Closet matter? Section 1: Influences Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context Module 2: Academic Context Module 3: The Problem Module 4: The Author's Contribution Section 2: Ideas Module 5: Main Ideas Module 6: Secondary Ideas Module 7: Achievement Module 8: Place in the Author's Work Section 3: Impact Module 9: The First Responses Module 10: The Evolving Debate Module 11: Impact and Influence Today Module 12: Where Next? Glossary of Terms People Mentioned in the Text Works Cited