In this book, Sedgwick examines texts from Europe and America such as Wilde, Nietzsche and Proust and considers the historical moment when sexual orientation came to be as important a signifier of personhood as gender had been for centuries. In doing this, Sedgwick provides a history of sexuality that contends that the dualistic homo/heterosexual model is as much a basis for modern culture as it is an outcome of it. Thus, Sedgwick laid the foundations of Queer Theory, contributing to the contemporary debates regarding the relationship between desire and normative structures of power, the question of empirical sexuality, and the intricacies of the relationship between sexuality and gender.

chapter |5 pages

Ways in to the Text

section 1|17 pages


module 1|4 pages

The Author and the Historical Context

module 2|3 pages

Academic Context

module 3|5 pages

The Problem

module 4|4 pages

The Author’s Contribution

section 2|18 pages


module 5|6 pages

Main Ideas

module 6|4 pages

Secondary Ideas

module 7|4 pages


module 8|3 pages

Place in the Author’s Work

section 3|19 pages


module 9|5 pages

The First Responses

module 10|4 pages

The Evolving Debate

module 11|4 pages

Impact and Influence Today

module 12|5 pages

Where Next?