Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity

Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity

Paperback Series Q

By (author) Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, By (author) Adam Frank

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  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 221mm x 15mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2003
  • Publication City/Country: North Carolina
  • ISBN 10: 0822330156
  • ISBN 13: 9780822330158
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 1 figure, 1 photo
  • Sales rank: 54,661

Product description

A pioneer in queer theory and literary studies, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick brings together for the first time in "Touching Feeling", her most powerful explorations of emotion and expression. In essays that show how her groundbreaking work in queer theory has developed into a deep interest in affect, Sedgwick offers what she calls "tools and techniques for nondualistic thought," in the process touching and transforming such theoretical discourses as psychoanalysis, speech-act theory, Western Buddhism, and the Foucauldian "hermeneutics of suspicion." In prose sometimes sombre, often high-spirited, and always accessible and moving, "Touching Feeling" interrogates - through virtuoso readings of works by Henry James, J. L. Austin, Judith Butler, the psychologist Silvan Tomkins and others - emotion in many forms. What links the work of teaching to the experience of illness? How can shame become an engine for queer politics, performance, and pleasure? Is sexuality more like an affect or a drive? Is paranoia the only realistic epistemology for modern intellectuals? Ultimately, Sedgwick's unfashionable commitment to the truth of happiness propels a book as open-hearted as it is intellectually daring.

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Author information

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is Distinguished Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of numerous books including "A Dialogue on Love "and "Epistemology of the Closet. "Her books "Tendencies; Fat Art, Thin Art, "a book of poetry; "Novel Gazing: Queer Readings in Fiction"; and S"hame and Its Sisters: A Silvan Tomkins Reader" (coedited with Adam Frank) are published by Duke University Press.

Review quote

"Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's gift is to electrify intellectual communities by reminding them that 'thought' has a temperature, a texture, and an erotics. With a generosity that is at once self-abnegatingly ascetic, and gorgeously, exhibitionistically bravura, she opens door after door onto undiscovered fields of inquiry. There are too many high points in Touching Feeling for me to list them. Sedgwick's language, richly garlanded, syntactically showstopping, gives, everywhere, its characteristic, always surprising pleasure." Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Andy Warhol "Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick writes with intense precision, and yet her work directs us toward the domain where meaning is music, unquantifiable, enigmatic, nonlinguistic. If the performative speech act, with all its relation to norms and laws, is central to the reception of her work in queer theory, then the performativity of knowledge beyond speech-aesthetic, bodily, affective-is its real topic." Lauren Berlant, author of The Queen of America Goes to Washington City "... Touching Feeling, [is] a collection of essays dating back to 1992 which [Sedgwick] has revised to form an extended theoretical meditation on 'non-dualistic thought' ... The loosely connected essays have such themes as shame, theatricality, performativity, the biology of affect, reparative v. paranoid reading, and death... Sedgwick's courage in speaking openly about her illness and about aspects of her self that most academic women would keep private, including being fat, is very moving."--Elaine Showalter, London Review of Books 6 March 2003

Back cover copy

"Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick writes with intense precision, and yet her work directs us toward the domain where meaning is music, unquantifiable, enigmatic, nonlinguistic. If the performative speech act, with all its relation to norms and laws, is central to the reception of her work in queer theory, then the performativity of knowledge beyond speech--aesthetic, bodily, affective--is its real topic."--Lauren Berlant, author of "The Queen of America Goes to Washington City"