In the annual Helen Pond McIntyre '48 Lecture, Sara Ahmed explores how institutions are built from small acts of use. The institutional becomes usual. What usually happens seems to keep happening without having to be made into official policy and sometimes even despite an official policy. We learn about the institutional (as usual) from those who are trying to transform institutions. Diversity work, the work of trying to transform institutions by opening them up to populations that have hitherto been excluded, generates data on institutions, snap shots of institutional life from the point of view of those trying not to reproduce that life. In this lecture, Ahmed will bring together data from her study of diversity work in universities first presented in On Being Included (2012) and developed in the middle section of Living a Feminist Life (2017) with her current research into “the uses of use” and complaint. She considers how social justice projects require making usage into a crisis.
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About the Speaker
Sara Ahmed is an independent scholar and feminist writer. She has held academic posts at Lancaster University and Goldsmiths, University of London. Her books include Living a Feminist Life (2017), Willful Subjects (2014), On Being Included (2012), The Promise of Happiness (2010),Queer Phenomenology (2006), The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2014, 2004), Strange Encounters (2000) and Differences that Matter (1998).