Honors Projects


Mary RossFollow


Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick outlined in her book entitled Epistemology of the Closet a paradigm of expressing queer sexuality when it is known and when it is not know. In response to Sedgwick closet paradigm, Marlon Ross wrote his essay entitled “Beyond the Closet as a Raceless Paradigm” in which he demonstrated that Sedgwick’s paradigm is not applicable to marginalized class and racial groups. He also made a call to action to change the necessity of the closet paradigm when discussing queer sexuality. In this paper, I put James Baldwin’s Another Country and Bryan Washington’s Lot: Stories in conversation with Sedgwick and Ross to see if and how they reject Sedgwick closet paradigm and if and how they change the narrative that necessitates the closet. My analysis reveals that though Another Country rejects Sedgwick’s theorization of the closet under the assumption that Rufus is queer, it does not change the common narrative of queer identities that necessitate a “coming out” or a closet. On the other hand, the story of Nicolas in Lot: Stories succeeds in not only rejecting Sedgwick’s theorization of the closet paradigm but also in encouraging the movement Ross calls for to move beyond the closet as a necessary function of queer identity.





First Advisor

Bill Albertini

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Jenjira Yahirun

Second Advisor Department


Publication Date

Fall 2021