top of page
Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick


Since the late 1980s, queer studies and theory have become vital to the intellectual and political life of the United States. This has been due, in no small degree, to the influence of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's critically acclaimed Epistemology of the Closet. Working from classic texts of European and American writers—including Melville, James, Nietzsche, Proust, and Wilde—Sedgwick analyzes a turn-of-the-century historical moment in which sexual orientation became as important a demarcation of personhood as gender had been for centuries. In her preface to this updated edition Sedgwick places the book both personally and historically, looking specifically at the horror of the first wave of the AIDS epidemic and its influence on the text.


Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick was a poet, artist, literary critic and teacher. She is perhaps best known as one of the originators of Queer Theory. Her work and her example continue to have a significant effect in shaping the lives and thought of many people.


Updated with a New Preface.




"Close readings of Melville's Billy Budd, Wilde's Dorian Gray, and of Proust, Nietzsche, Henry James, and Thackeray bristle with keen observations relating entrenched fears of same-sex relationships to contemporary gay-bashing."—Publishers Weekly


"No book I have recently read is as successful as Sedgwick's in making provocative connections between literary acts and social dynamics."—The Nation


"Pioneering and rewarding. Sedgwick has zeroed in on the taboo area of male sexuality, and the architecture she exposes is stunning."—Boston Globe


"An important contribution to lesbian and gay studies."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Brilliant as a work of literary criticism, a cultural study, a political analysis, and as a landmark in the development of lesbian and gay studies." —Women's Review of Books


“To read (and reread) Sedgwick’s Epistemology of the Closet is a rewarding experience. This text will shatter the framework through which you think about life.”—Feminist Review

  • Details

    Imprint: University of California Press

    Publication Date: 8 Fenruary 2008 (Copywrite 1990)

    ISBN: 9780520254060

    Pages: 280

    Format: Paperback

Notice to European Customers

All European Customers: You may be required to pay a local import tax on or before delivery for parcels entering the EU. Please check your local import rules for purchases from the UK.


Germany and Republic of Ireland: Due to a high return rate of parcels, we are sadly no longer shipping to Germany and the Republic of Ireland. 

bottom of page