Lauren Berlant, an author, cultural theorist, and professor known most widely for their work “Cruel Optimism,” has died, as reported on Twitter.

Duke University Press shared the news via their Twitter page, where they wrote:

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Lauren Berlant, one of our bestselling authors and a great friend to the Press. A full remembrance will come later this week.”

Lauren Berlant’s legacy explored

Lauren Berlant is George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor of English at the University of Chicago and is known for their work which includes a “national sentimentality trilogy”, including The Queen of America Goes to Washington City (1993) and The Female Complaint (2008).

Lauren is most widely known for “Cruel Optimism,” a work in which they argue that the persistence of the ‘American Dream’ amounts to a cruel optimism, which is “when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your own flourishing.”

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In their biography page, Lauren explains that their work has “focused on the affective components of social proximity in the U.S. from the nineteenth to the the twenty-first century.”

Lauren began teaching at the University of Chicago in 1984, and gained their PHD from Cornell University in 1985.

Twitter mourns Lauren Berlant’s death

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