This essay argues that Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's late-career turn toward positive affect is motivated by a desire to articulate an alternative ethical model to the governing paradigms of queer theory. Her ethics is premised on permeable intersubjectivity, based in the nonfoundational selves of post-structuralism and Buddhism. I map Sedgwick's ethics through her experimental memoir, A Dialogue on Love (1999), to demonstrate that its form locates subjectivity within a network of contingent, nonlinguistic, and reciprocal affective relations. By doing so, Dialogue models a permeable relationality that mitigates projective affects and offers a set of feelings more capacious than paranoia and more welcoming to queer possibilities for mutual nourishment, agency, and empathy. Sedgwick's ethics of intersubjectivity offers one way to expand queer theory's affective modalities to include a conception of durable and impersonal relations of holding that extend beyond the temporality of any one individual life.
Tyler Bradway; “Permeable We!”: Affect and the Ethics of Intersubjectivity in Eve Sedgwick's A Dialogue on Love. GLQ 1 January 2013; 19 (1): 79–110. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-1729554
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