Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity (Series Q)

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  • 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 somber, 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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