Public And Academic Structures Of The Closet By Leo Bersani And Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

1537 Words Oct 17th, 2014 7 Pages
At the height of the AIDS epidemic, a melding of revolutionary ambitions and homophobic misrepresentations give rise to the empowerment of Queer Authors to challenge and shift the heteronormative systems of society (“Queer Histories”). Leo Bersani and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick are two queer Authors who have impacted the public and academic structures of knowledge during this crisis. Examining Bersani’s “Is the Rectum a Grave?” and Sedgwick’s “Epistemology of the Closet,” both are positioned towards different audiences and found to converge and diverge from each other in the historically contingent need for justification of homosexual identity during the AIDS crisis, to the queering of social constructions for acceptance. Beginning in 1981, the AIDS epidemic is treated with political ignorance and homophobic aversion as the health crisis does not receive national recognition until a drastic amount of the gay population contracts the virus and the death toll begins to rise (“Queer Histories”). Writing only three years apart—“Is the Rectum a Grave?” written in 1987 and “Epistemology of the Closet” written in 1990—both Bersani and Sedgwick are facing the same experiences of AIDS in society, which is exponentially greater in the queer community. Extending from the history of AIDS, it can be seen that each Author has positioned themselves towards different audiences. Examining each Author’s style of writing their audience becomes clear. Bersani has tailored his essay to the public,…

Related Documents