Press Release: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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 Academy of Arts and Sciences' 225th class. She is among 196 new Fellows and 17 new Foreign Honorary Members selected for their leadership in scholarship, business, the arts, and public affairs.


Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the United States. The Academy has elected as Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 150 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners.

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.

Among other honors and awards, she has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Morton Dauwen Zabel award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and an Honorable Mention for the Modern Language Association's 1991 James Russell Lowell Prize for her book Epistemology of the Closet (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990).

Her other leading publications include Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003); Tendencies (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1993); 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.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people." The Academy will welcome this year's new Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members at its annual Induction Ceremony in October at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Graduate Center is the doctorate-granting institution of The City University of New York. The only consortium of its kind in the nation, the school draws its faculty of more than 1,600 members mainly from the CUNY senior colleges and cultural and scientific institutions throughout New York City. According to the most recent National Research Council report, more than a third of The Graduate Center's rated Ph.D. programs rank among the nation's top 20 at public and private institutions, including the Ph.D. Program in English.

Further information on The Graduate Center's programs and activities can be found on its website at: www.gc.cuny.edu.

Submitted on: MAY 1, 2005

Category: English, Press Room