This essay reflects on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s citation of Erving Goffman’s 1963 book Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity in her essay “Queer Performativity: Henry James’s The Art of the Novel” (1993). I track Sedgwick’s attempt to wrest queer studies away from “the deconstructive project” and argue that the turn to affect recalls the disavowed roots of the field in midcentury social science.

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