“Permeable We!”: Queer Theory’s (Re)turn to Reading with Feeling

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Affect Theory and Literary Criticism book series (PSATLC)


This chapter looks to Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s experimental memoir A Dialogue on Love (1999) as the locus for her development of new practices for queer reading, revealing the unacknowledged influence that queer experimental literature has on queer theory’s rediscovery of affective reading. I argue that the memoir’s formal composition of permeability illuminates the ethical values that inspire Sedgwick’s late-career shift away from paranoid reading to reparative reading, leading her to redefine queerness as a mode of relational care. In contrast to the paranoid idioms of criticism, queer experimental literature offers Sedgwick a pliable form for affirming queer relationality as a mode of agency and becoming in the face of mortality.


Positive Affect Affective Relation Original Emphasis Reparative Reading Queer Theory 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State University of New York at CortlandCortlandUSA

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