Eve Sedgwick (BOK)
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This special issue of GLQ celebrates the writing of queer-studies pioneer Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (1950-2009) with a collection of essays by her close friends and colleagues. The issue includes an unpublished early essay by Sedgwick on the poet James Merrill that sheds light on both her development as a critic and the extent to which she identified as a poet in this stage of her career. Written in the late 1970s before she was known for her groundbreaking work in queer theory, Sedgwick's essay "The 1001 Seances" looks at the narrative poem "The Book of Ephraim." Using Sedgwick's relation to Merrill and to poetry more generally as their point of departure, contributors share their thoughts about Sedgwick's early career and the importance of her work for queer studies. Michael Moon, with whom she founded the influential Series Q, suggests that the essay on Merrill can be understood as an early act of engagement on Sedgwick's part with some of the most enduring of her critical and theoretical interests, such as abjected sexualities, non-Oedipal psychologies, and the analysis of virtuosic performances (including, eventually, her own) of cultural authority. Katie Kent, who was Sedgwick's student, links the essay to her later work in A Dialogue on Love, while Henry Abelove and Neil Hertz, the latter of whom was Sedgwick's teacher, offer reminiscences about her attentiveness to gay history and poetry. The issue also features an introduction written by her husband, H. A. Sedgwick, which provides background on the essay's history and Sedgwick's interest in Merrill.