Epistemology of the Closet proposes that many of the major nodes of thought and knowledge in twentieth-century Western culture as a whole are structured--indeed, fractured--by a chronic, now endemic crisis of homo/heterosexual definition, indicatively male, dating from the end of the nineteenth century. The book will argue that an understanding of virtually any aspect of modern Western culture must be, not merely incomplete, but damaged in its central substance to the degree that it does not incorporate a critical analysis of modern homo/heterosexual definition; and it will assume that the appropriate place for that critical analysis to begin is from the relatively decentered perspective of modern gay and antihomophobic theory. (p.1)
The LGBT@NYPL blog (from The New York Public Library) noted that Sedgwick's contributions changed lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies in the humanities: "She taught us to read in a whole new way—not to read homosexuality as much as the productive power of its invisibility." Finally, in The Nation, Richard Kim has another interesting and personal take on Sedgwick's contributions in defining degrees of homosexuality. The comments to his article are worth browsing, but be prepared. It's startling that as far as we've evolved in our society with regard to human rights, there are still people who believe it's acceptable to quote Revelations and use phrases like "Sick!" in evaluating high-quality academic work on queer studies.