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Refworks Account Login. Open Collections. UBC Theses and Dissertations. Featured Collection. A founding scholar of the field, Sedgwick radically changed thinking about sexuality in history in ways that have critically defined queerness not only in relation to but also as temporality. At the same time we turn the focus inward, narrating in various forms of personal voice what her loss has meant.
This dissertation continues and begins again the queer work forged by Sedgwick by drawing connections between the personal and the collective. Intervening into theories of negativity that have become pervasive in the field, it turns to her reparative mode of reading while still acknowledging the damage and aggression that are at the heart of psychic life.
In this sense the question emerges: Might the future of queer theory be found in a reading of Sedgwick after Sedgwick? Not coincidentally, that was also the time that I first fell in love. When I started to write, my feelings were channelled into letters to my favourite authors. In coming to my dissertation, it was the kind also that seemed the most inappropriate but that I wanted to create and I imagined my reading of Eve Sedgwick could make possible.
Because I learned from her an appreciation for stating the obvious, I feel compelled to point out as she might also do that a dissertation is not the same as a letter, and most especially perhaps not a love letter. Yet I hope that something about it will still register the incoherence, confusion, and chaos of that affect. William F. Pinar, I have benefited from your careful supervision and quiet attentiveness, and from your generous readings of my work.
For that I am grateful. I also feel fortunate to have found a mentor in Dr. Jen Gilbert, who has seen this work through from the very beginning and whose graduate course in Sexualities in Education at York played a crucial if unanticipated role in pointing me toward this project.
Up until the moment I stepped foot in your classroom for the final course of my M. Your teaching unburdened me from these delusions. Thank you. Immeasurable thanks go also to Dr. Mary Bryson for your encouraging and thoughtful critical engagements with my project and for the clarifying and soothing labour you have contributed to the revising process especially. Brainstorming with you has been simultaneously a pleasure, an inspiration, and a comfort. What a rarity it is and indeed how indescribable to find myself in the presence of someone an academic, no less!
Faced with the loneliness of dissertation writing, I have often felt held only by thoughts and ideas. I thank you for yours. In addition to my supervisory committee, I have had the tremendous good luck of forging influential and sustaining relationships with remarkable professors at every stage. Lorraine Weir and Janice Stewart. Deborah Butler. Three years after her death I still think of her often and mourn her loss, knowing that it was she who helped me find a language through which to give voice to unarticulated suffering.
In the short year that I was at York University completing my M. It was Gerda in particular who, recognizing the hazardous potentials of the perfectionist in me and my tendency to push myself to the brink, vi cautioned me against burnout and gave me, at the tender age of twenty-eight, some of my first critical lessons in self-care. So foreign to me and so utterly indigestible were these ideas then that I failed to listen to her.
Many times throughout the Ph. I admire each one of you in your singularity. As academics and writers, I have come to think of you both in relation to and apart from me in the way that Jacques Derrida conceives so beautifully in The Eyes of the University.
My parents, Michael and Mary Beth, have provided me with a wealth of emotional support throughout my post-secondary education.
I am grateful to you, I love you, and I thank you. Staying true to his belief that the best investment in life is an education, my father-in-law, D.
Miles Price, has been a constant and invaluable source of support over these last many years. Finally, Jeremy M. Price, my more-than-a-match of a husband of eleven years, it is to you whom I express my deepest gratitude. You have been with me every step of the way, willing me to finish, and I cannot thank you enough for your endless patience, your grace, and your good humour. Never before have I known such fierce and incendiary love or such a genuine, brilliant, and creative human spirit.
Early on, when it seemed that we had all the time in the world, we performed on our flutes together and you challenged me to become a better vii player. Throughout my Ph. I am grateful for these awards since they have allowed me to live and thus to perform the real work that a graduate student must do as a thinking subject. A scholar who was widely regarded as a founder of queer studies in North America and whose critical daring and conceptual acuity was eclipsed perhaps only by her very real and tenacious commitment to advocating queer survival, Sedgwick inspired, continually and sometimes surprisingly, even as her illness threatened for many years her own expiration.
Reading Sedgwick today, there are glimpses, to be sure, both poignant and ephemeral, of the kinds of effects the diagnosis of breast cancer had on her life and the way in which, most critically, it prompted a new gender identity formation far removed from categories of essential femininity and femaleness.
That queerness and ghostliness have a long history of association is likely not news to anyone working within the field of queer theory today. She wrote: I think many adults and I among them are trying, in our work, to keep faith with vividly remembered promises made to ourselves in childhood: promises to make invisible possibilities and desires visible; to make the tacit things explicit; to smuggle queer representation in where it must be smuggled and, with the relative freedom of adulthood, to challenge queer eradicating impulses where they are to be so challenged.
If there was any one defining characteristic of her work, it was quite likely the not unrelated aspects of devotional love and caring of others and an openness to otherness and death. When she considered her friends and colleagues doing lesbian and gay work she felt that the survival of each one was a miracle. After her death, how will Eve Sedgwick be remembered? Does queer theory have a future now that she is gone?
For a field that has recently been dominated by theories of negativity that destabilize queerness by emphasizing ethereal entities, such as the Symbolic order, the death drive, jouissance, and the sinthome, the return to thinking about the foundational categories of, for example: illness, dying, trauma, reparation, community, memory, activism, affect, and the role of feelings in public life represents a kind of recursion that is another way of going forward, and a future of having a future.
My dissertation continues this queer work of drawing connections between the personal and the collective. In this sense it argues that reading Sedgwick after Sedgwick is the future of queer theory. One needs only to perform a perfunctory review of the available literature on the subject, for instance, to ascertain that such pre-eminent and highly regarded intellectuals as Sigmund Freud , Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok , and Jacques Derrida were already some years ago attempting to conceive of a language through which to comprehend the life of others and other things within us and to define as methodological practice the historical and psychic power of haunting.
Of all the various nuanced and conceptually complex articulations of haunting we have inherited in the modern West from scholars trained in psychoanalysis and philosophy as well as 7 other disciplines, the clearest and most straightforward comes, surprisingly perhaps, from no one other than the supremely cryptic Derrida, for whom it involved openness to the possibility of living with and being inhabited by ghosts. Haunting, he suggests, underlines the persistence of the past in the present.
It is a language and an experiential modality by which one attends to the repressions, disappearances, absences, and losses compelled by modern life, and through which one hears the echoes and murmurs of what has been lost but is still present in the form of intimations, hints, suggestions, and portents.
Most distinctly, haunting raises spectres, and it alters the experience of being in time, the way we separate the past, the present, and the future. What haunting brings into being, then, is what Sedgwick would call a queer temporality, a way of relating to the past where the past is not nevertheless an origin tied to the logic of development but rather an affective and erotic commingling of times from which pleasurable interruptions and momentary fulfillments might also be staged.
The spectre begins by coming back, by repeating itself, by recurring in the present. It is not traceable to an origin nor to a founding event […] yet it operates as a force.
Against the pain and loss that prescribe haunting mainly as a frightening experience, the force of the ghostly return surprises in its suggestion of desire.
Desire for — and of — the other, he implies, is part of what is hidden in the crypt, part of what arrives or comes back as insistent and persistent phantom. Being haunted is, as Derrida intimates, a profoundly if partially erotic experience.
Pleasure, in this view, works precisely as a force, binding individuals to objects and processes that, despite being harmful, still offer up a sense of self-continuity and coherency, and a way of being in the world. In an age of scholarship that has grown stale, in the arts and humanities to some degree and in the social sciences pronouncedly, in its conventional view of what counts as living social reality, in its restrictive commitment to an empiricist epistemology and its supporting ontology of the visible and the concrete, queer theory, bolstered by all that it has inherited conceptually from Sedgwick, has initiated other methods and forms of writing, ones that are more attuned to the task of conjuring up the appearances of something that is absent.
Reconsidering the spatial and temporal dimensions of specifically queer traumas, including AIDS, queer scholars have suggested that the incorporation of lost others need not be haunted by melancholy and depression only.
These views, by no means shared or espoused by all queer theorists today, are indicative of a recent queer critical intervention into certain conceptual legacies of psychoanalysis, most 10 particularly, its model of pain and ego formation and the idea that a wound or an originary bodily discomfort creates the individual.
Further, the recent broadening of the scope of affectivities for queer theorizing indicates, at least potentially, recognition on the part of some queer scholars of the legacy of feminist ideas in the historical development of queer theory and the ways in which, as Judith Halberstam has shown, the feminist archive of negativity might serve as a model for a more explicitly political framing of the anti-social project in queer contexts.
There is a pleasure for Sedgwick in thinking about death and sex that directly and complexly refers to what is concealed and immaterial, whether a ghostly presence, a lingering past, or luminous presence of the seemingly invisible. A touch queerly perhaps then, the account that she gives that seems the most fitting is the one that, on the surface of things, has nothing to do with sex at all.
Though an ephemeral encounter, its placing just two pages from the end of the memoir implies something significant, an important discovery.
In an email that she types to a friend, Sedgwick describes an occurrence in which, unobserved, she stands at a distance and watches as an unknowing Shannon bends over and picks up the mulch — the very same that she has dislodged in an unexpected fall earlier that day. She writes: I write to Tim that there may be something inexhaustibly pleasing in the tight, light knot of space, time, and seeing. How the small extent of Ninth Street, our wide-skied, midwestern-feeling little college town, turns into a time-lapse graphic that lets Shannon occupy the place where I was, encountering my ghost without recognition, unmaking my mistake — me, turning back, seeing it.
And I love that his care for me was not care for me. In this dissertation, quite as Sedgwick implies, it is sex and sexuality that live in the shadows, that hover queerly between materiality and immateriality, that are and are not there, which not only readily and peculiarly lend themselves to autobiography, but also illuminate and in important ways define it fundamentally as a practice and a method of writing with ghosts. Rather, to the extent that autobiography marks a 5 Exemplary perhaps of the kind of contestations that surround the genre, Sedgwick herself seemed hesitant to categorize A Dialogue on Love as autobiographical.
Equally attuned to the phantom structures of subjectivity, Sedgwick, while less emphatic than Derrida perhaps in articulating the linkages between autobiography and death, nevertheless acknowledges them and, strangely, invests them with material substance in memoirs that centre on and powerfully elicit the work of identification. Characteristically Sedgwick, the writing of the sexual and of masochism specifically is a task that within the contours of the essay concerns itself less with the physical components of the scene and turns more towards imaginary, and even verbal, intrigues.
Still, more than imaginary, there is, yet, also the trace of something ghostly, a haunting not so much of the queer child Sedgwick whose pain, shame, and desires, while disguised, are nevertheless articulated, but of an encounter that in all of its familiarity bears no recognition. It was an essay that in its entirety was about seeing and not seeing, an extraordinary inquiry into the symbolism and the fantasy of two matching pairs of white glasses and the impossibility of an identification that could allow one friend to see herself as she believed the other saw her, and as she saw him, through his white glasses.
About her identity as and her love for a gay man, Sedgwick would write: When I am with Michael, often suddenly it will be as if we were fused together at a distance of half an inch from the eye [ When I am in bed with Michael, our white glasses line up neatly on the night table and I always fantasy that I may walk away wearing the wrong ones. The essay, after all, was written as an obituary of sorts, in anticipation of his death which Sedgwick imagined surely would come by the time she delivered the paper at a conference that same year.
I was sick: I was cold all the time, even in the sweltering summer heat; my body lost its voluptuousness; my hair fell out in clumps, and a fine fuzzy coating of hair began to grow like fur on my arms and legs. Mine was obviously a self in disrepair, but while my body struggled literally to function and to hold itself together, it still bespoke a desire that, incoherent in the present, must have issued from another time. My identification was with Sedgwick, whose identification was with Michael.
The masquerade of femininity, she says, covers over the wish to be masculine. This did not stop the images from coming, however, and like Sedgwick, and indeed through her, I protected myself with language, with the subtleties and the ambiguities that obtained in her play with words and from which it seemed she could transfigure any experience into pleasure.
It is true, perhaps more so now than I can bear, as I sit at the border of remembering and forgetting, composing this dissertation and attending to the living traces of Eve Sedgwick, that the only thing that we have between us, indeed the only thing that stands between us is language. Thanks to Sedgwick and a host of other queer scholars who facilitated the rise of queer theory as a literary cultural practice particularly in the United States, the focus of attention within the field has turned to the performative linguistic function of queer and the way that it names a certain unsettling in relation to heteronormativity.
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He had no father, no house, no extended family. He was just beginning to realize she was his only stability. He turned when he heard her, and she watched as his hand slid into his pocket.
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Lichen sclerosus is a type of skin condition. It often affects your genital or anal areas, but you can get it on other parts of your body. It can cause a rash , itching, pain, and scarring. Lichen sclerosus is most common in women after menopause.
Как я могла не выключить монитор. Сьюзан понимала: как только Хейл заподозрит, что она искала что-то в его компьютере, то сразу же поймет, что подлинное лицо Северной Дакоты раскрыто. И пойдет на все, лишь бы эта информация не вышла из стен Третьего узла. А что, подумала Сьюзан, если броситься мимо него и побежать к двери.
Извините, сэр… Бринкерхофф уже шел к двери, но Мидж точно прилипла к месту. - Я с вами попрощался, мисс Милкен, - холодно сказал Фонтейн. - Я вас ни в чем не виню. - Но, сэр… - заикаясь выдавила. - Я… я протестую.