“It’s just what they accuse us of.”

I woke up today thinking about pedagogy and love and my teacher Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. We could really use her voice these days. I made myself coffee and turned to Youtube, looking for Eve.

The above video is her 1998 Kessler lecture at CLAGS: the Center for LGBTQ Studies at CUNY. In this talk, she shares an excerpt from A Dialogue on Love. The event opens with a series of speakers who honor Eve’s work. I’ve keyed this to José Muñoz’s introduction — at this point José had been at NYU for just a couple years. Disidentifications was about to be published. He was there as Eve’s student, at her request; he speaks for a number of us who worked with her in the 1990s. José’s work had, I think, a huge impact on Eve; when she moved from Durham to New York their relationship developed into a powerful friendship which never lost its pedagogical shape.

Eve comes on at 52 minutes, and it’s all just so her.  The title of this post is drawn from her off-the-cuff joke about her own work — about how A Dialogue on Love, which is drawn from her therapy and is a first-person narrative, “is just what people accuse us of doing when we do anything that has the first person in it — this isn’t scholarship, it’s really therapy. So I figured, what the hell.”

I am very lucky to have been her student.