Speaker Bios

Ed Cohen is an Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at Rutgers University. As a cultural theorist, his intellectual and pedagogical interests include gender studies, social studies of science and medicine, nineteenth-century studies, and lesbian and gay studies. He has written extensively on the history of the formations of male genders and sexualities and is the author of Talk on the Wilde Side: towards a Genealogy of the Discourses on Male Sexualities (Routledge, 1993). His current monograph, A Body Worth Defending: “Immunity” and the Bio-Politics of Bio-Medicine, will be published by Duke University Press in September 2009.  This work traces how the juridico-political rubric “immunity” came to be incorporated as bio-medical concept in the late nineteenth century and explores the contemporary implications of this genealogy for how we understand and experience ourselves as individuals, as political subjects, as humans and as living organisms.

Lee Edelman began his academic career as a scholar of twentieth-century American poetry. He has since become a central figure in the development, dissemination, and rethinking of queer theory. His current work explores the intersections of sexuality, rhetorical theory, cultural politics, and film. He holds an appointment as the Fletcher Professor of English Literature at Tufts University and he is currently the Chair of the English Department.  His monographs include No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (Duke University Press, 2008) and Homographesis: Essays in Gay Literary and Cultural Theory (Routledge, 1994, reprinted 2003) and his work has been translated into French, Dutch and Japanese.

Jonathan Flatley is Editor of Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts, and Associate Professor in the English Department at Wayne State University. His book Affective Mapping: Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism, was published by Harvard University Press in 2008. He is currently working on two other book projects, one on Andy Warhol, likeness and affect and the other on post-socialist collectivity.  Recent publications include: “Semblable,” in Mary Ellen Carroll: MEC; “The Agency of Letters” (On Sam Durant) in Afterall; “Allegories of Boredom,” in Ann Goldstein ed. A Minimal Future: Art as Object 1958-1968; “Art Machine,” in Nicholas Baume ed. Sol Lewitt, Incomplete Open Cubes; “Moscow and Melancholia,” in Social Text. He has spent time in Moscow as a researcher, teacher and lecturer at many points over the last 20 years, including a year in 2001 on a Fulbright Grant, when he organized a film festival and an international conference on Andy Warhol. Eve Sedgwick was his dissertation advisor at Duke.

Jonathan Goldberg is Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor at Emory University. He previously taught at The Johns Hopkins University where he was Sir William Osler Professor of English Literature; he was a colleague of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick when he taught at Duke University. Inspiring teachers at Columbia, where he received his A.B. magna (1964), his M.A. (1965) and Ph.D. (1968), led him to English Renaissance literature, the focus of many of the ten books he has published. The work of Eve Sedgwick, to whom he dedicated Sodometries (1992), shifted his attention to embrace questions of sexuality; it was Sedgwick who gave him permission to write Willa Cather and Others (2001). His most recent book is The Seeds of Things (2009) which he believes echoes some of the concerns found in Sedgwick’s most recent writing.

Bill Goldstein is former founding editor of the books site of nytimes.com, book critic for NBC’s “Weekend Today in New York.” As editorial curator for “Times Talks,” the public speaker series of The New York Times, he programs and frequently moderates panel discussions on the arts, culture and politics. His book reviews, author interviews and coverage of the publishing industry have appeared regularly in The New York Times, Newsday, People and other publications. A graduate of The University of Chicago, he started his career in journalism at Publishers Weekly and was assistant book editor at Newsday as well as a senior editor at Scribner before joining The Times in 1996. He was a National Arts Journalism Program fellow at the Columbia School of Journalism in 2003-04. His essay on the performance history of Milton’s “Samson Agonistes,” “Samson Regained: A Play in Perpetual World Premiere,” was published in the collection Uncircumscribed Mind: Reading Milton Deeply, edited by Charles W. Durham and Kristin A. Pruitt (Susquehanna University Press, 2008). Bill Goldstein is also a graduate teaching fellow at Hunter College and is completing a Ph.D. in English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he studied with Eve Sedgwick and took her year-long Proust seminar twice.

Katy Hawkins received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from NYU in 2006.  Her dissertation compared the cross-disciplinary work of Sedgwick and Bill T. Jones to discover how their experimentations with writerly and artistic form engender new understandings of bodily crisis.  The conclusion of this project, on the Eastern spiritual frameworks central to their work (especially Hinduism and Buddhism), launched Hawkins’ more engaged examination of mind/body relations in recent years, including training in Zazen and Shamatha/Vipassana meditation, Vedic chanting, Sanskrit, and the eight limbs of Raja Yoga as defined by Patanjali.  Her own cross-disciplinary work (culled from dance, film, poetry, and theory) has been presented at venues such as Cornelia Street Café (NYC) and The Ear Inn (NYC); and can be found in Women and Performance and The Painted Bride Quarterly.  She lives in Philadelphia where she teaches Vinyasa Yoga.  Katy was also a student in Professor Sedgwick’s Proust seminar.

Joseph Litvak
is Professor of English at Tufts University.  He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University in 1981.  His research interests include Victorian Literature, Literary Criticism and Theory, Mass Culture of the Cold War and Jewish Cultural Studies.  He is the author of Strange Gourmets: Sophistication, Theory and the Novel (Duke University Press, 1997) and Caught in the Act: Theatricality in the Nineteenth-Century English Novel (University of California Press, 1992) He is also the author of After the Jew: Stoolpigeon Culture and the Hollywood Blacklist, forthcoming from Duke University Press.  His essay on Proust and “sophistication” appeared in Novel Gazing, an anthology edited by Eve Sedgwick.

Heather Love is Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Her book Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History (Harvard, 2007) was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.  She was also the co-editor of a special issue of New Literary History (“Is There Life after Identity Politics?”). Her articles have appeared in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Criticism, new formations, Feminist Theory, and The Journal of Lesbian Studies.  Her areas of interest include gender studies and queer theory, modernism and modernity, affect studies, film and visual culture, sociology and literature, and critical theory. She is currently at work on a project on the source materials for Erving Goffman’s 1963 book, Stigma: On the Management of Spoiled Identity (“The Stigma Archive”).

Michael Moon is a Professor and the Co-Director of Graduate Studies at the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts at Emory University.  He has also taught at Johns Hopkins University and Duke University.  His research interests encompass late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American literature and culture, including film, especially in relation to the history and theory of sexuality and of mass culture.  He is the author of A Small Boy and Others: Imitation and Initiation in American Culture from Henry James to Andy Warhol (Duke University Press, 1991) and Disseminating Whitman: Revision and Corporeality in Leaves of Grass (Harvard University Press, 1993).  He is also the editor of Subjects and Citizens: Nation, Race, and Gender from Oroonoko to Anita Hill (Duke University Press, 1995).  He was one of Eve Sedgwick’s closest friends and collaborators.

Tavia Nyong’o is Associate Professor of Performance Studies at New York University. He is the author of The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance and the Ruses of Memory (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), and of numerous articles in performance and cultural criticism that have appeared in Criticism, Social Text, Women and Performance, The Yale Journal of Criticism, Performance Research, and Radical History Review. Nyong’o has been the recipient of awards and fellowships from numerous foundations, including a British Marshall Scholarship, as well as fellowships from the Jacob K. Javits Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the International Center for Advanced Study at New York University. His dissertation was runner-up for the Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize of the American Studies Association. Nyong’o is currently the web editor of the journal Social Text.

Cindy Patton is a Professor at Simon Fraser University. She holds a joint appointment in the departments of Sociology and Anthropology and Women’s Studies as Canada Research Chair in Community, Culture, and Health.  She received her Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1992.  She has published work in the areas of the social study of medicine, especially AIDS; social movement theory; gender studies; and media studies.  Her current research interests include the social study of medicine, especially social aspects of AIDS and wilderness medicine; continental theory; and research design, especially mixed methods.  She was co-editor of Queer Diasporas (Duke University Press, 2000) and a special issue of Cultural Studies on Pierre Bourdieu in 2003.  She is the author of such works as Globalizing AIDS (University of Minnesota Press, 2002), Cinematic Identity: Anatomy of a Problem Film (University of Minnesota Press, 1997), Fatal Advice: How Safe-Sex Education Went Wrong (Duke University Press, 1996) and Inventing Aids (Routledge, 1990).

Siobhan Somerville is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and the Gender & Women’s Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Somerville’s expertise includes feminist theory, queer studies, and American literature. She has written extensively on the intersection of race and sexuality in U.S. literature and history, and is currently studying immigration law and U.S. citizenship.  Her publications include Queering the Color Line: Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in American Culture (Duke University Press, 2000) and “Notes Toward a Queer History of Naturalization.”  American Quarterly 57.3 (2005):  659-675

Carolyn Williams is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University.  Before going to Rutgers she taught in the BU English Department together with Professor Sedgwick and participated with her in the ID450 writing group.  She specializes in Victorian poetry, autobiography, theater, and visual culture. She is the author of Transfigured World: Walter Pater’s Aesthetic Historicism (Cornell University Press, 1989) and GIlbert and Sullivan: Gender, Genre, Parody (forthcoming from Columbia University Press in 2010) and is currently working on a book about the aesthetic form of Victorian melodrama. Her other publications include: “Moving Pictures: George Eliot and Melodrama,” in Compassion (Selected essays from The English Institute), ed. Lauren Berlant (Routledge, 2004); “Walter Pater: Transparencies of Desire” (ELT, 2002); “Pater’s Impressionism and the Form of Historical Revival,” in Knowing the Past: Victorian Literature and Culture, ed. Suzy Anger (Cornell University Press, 2001). She was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004-2005, and the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999.