Since the death of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, I have wanted to honor her memory, and this panel is the perfect venue. Sedgwick's foundational understandings of sexuality, gender, and identity set the stage for much of my work and that of those I admire. My own work looks at how the state regulates gender in the “public” sphere. I attempt to challenge the tensions and intersections among international and comparative notions of equality and identity. Group identity constructions vary across cultural lines and conflict with liberal notions of universalist constitutionalism and equality. My current work, Unsex CEDAW: What's Wrong with Women's Rights, continues the exploration of identity in focusing on an interrogation of the term “women” as deployed by international law in the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (“CEDAW”). I argue that the centrality of this identitarian category of “women” in international law delegitimizes the gender concerns of other groups: transgender people, men of all types, and women whose rights do not relate to a victim-based identity. I conclude that CEDAW should not focus on women, but rather should attend to the non-identitarian categories of “sex” or “gender.” Given that this is where my current thinking resides, this Panel's focus on the “Affective Family” for me necessarily draws my attention to the ways that the “public” space constructs the family. Sedgwick and Freud both provide lenses through which to understand the family in all its private and public richness.
Darren Rosenblum, Rethinking International Women's Human Rights Through Eve Sedgwick, 33 Harv. J. L. & Gender 349 (2010), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/737/.