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#SexCult presents Heather Love: ‘Beginning with Stigma’ – Thursday 14 June 2018

14th June 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Thursday 14 June 2018, 6-8pm
ArtsOne Lecture Theatre, ArtsOne Building
Queen Mary University of London, E1 4NS
Free. All welcome. No bookings taken.

For any access info or needs, please email sexcult@qmul.ac.uk

ABSTRACT: This talk is taken from the introduction to Love’s new book, Underdogs, which aims to historicize the rise of queer theory and elaborate its debts to post-WWII social science, in particular the field of deviance studies. Love focuses on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s citation of midcentury sociologist Erving Goffman’s book Stigma: On the Management of Spoiled Identity (1963) in her 1993 essay “Queer Performativity,” and revisits Sedgwick’s claim that queer critique should “begin with stigma.” Love argues that the shift in Sedgwick’s career from epistemology to affect studies, and from paranoid to reparative reading, was enabled by a return to this earlier period (what she called, with Adam Frank, the “cybernetic fold”). The talk will consider the place of Goffman and of psychologist Silvan Tomkins in Sedgwick’s work, and argue that recent forms of descriptive and empirical literary criticism are shaped by this unacknowledged legacy.

Heather Love is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Love is the author of Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History (Harvard), the editor of a special issue of GLQ on Gayle Rubin (‘Rethinking Sex’), and co-editor of a special issue of Representations (‘Description Across Disciplines’).


14th June 2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Sexual Cultures Research Group


ArtsOne Lecture Theatre
ArtsOne Building
Queen Mary University of London, E1 4NS
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