Press Release: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Elected to American Philosophical Society


Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Distinguished Professor of English at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, has been elected a member of the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the country. Forty-nine new members were elected this year, joining the past roster of 920.

The American Philosophical Society was founded in 1745 by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson was one of its early presidents.  It has played a part in many scientific and scholarly enterprises including the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and through more than two hundred and sixty years has recognized achievements in science, letters, and the arts. Today it supports research through a program of grants, publishes scholarly books and journals, and maintains a library singularly rich in material in the history of science and technology. Many members participate actively in the Society's fellowship, publications, and meetings committees.

At this time last year, Sedgwick was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, also considered one of the highest honors in the United States. One of the pioneers of gay and lesbian studies and queer theory, Sedgwick uses scholarship and lyrical prose to explore the widespread effects of homosocial, homosexual, and homophobic currents in Western culture. In addition to her work in sexuality and gender, Sedgwick has published poetry, a memoir, and essays on affect, psychoanalytic theory, and Buddhism.

Her leading publications include Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003); Tendencies (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1993); Epistemology of the Closet (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990); Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, l985, reissue 1993); plus a memoir, A Dialogue on Love (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1999), and a volume of poetry: Fat Art, Thin Art (Durham, NC: Duke University Press,1994).

Sedgwick received her Ph.D from Yale University in 1975.  Prior to coming to The Graduate Center in 1998, she was the Newman Ivey White Professor of English at Duke University and has taught writing and literature at Hamilton College, Boston University, and Amherst College.

Submitted on: MAY 1, 2006

Category: Press Room