Sara Ahmed Talk – “The Institutional As Usual: Sexism, Racism and the Politics of Complaint”

Inaugural Presentation in the Dylan Rose Kadis and Eloise Hall Kadis Women’s Lecture Series

The Institutional As Usual: Sexism, Racism and the Politics of Complaint

This lecture explores how institutions are built from small acts of use. Once we are attuned to an environment, we know what usually happens.  This lecture explores how sexism and racism become usual, with specific reference to uses of banter; ways of using words that point to how spaces become occupied. What happens when you challenge the use of banter as an abuse of power? What follows such challenges teaches us about power; the more you try to transform institutions the more you come up against them. This lecture brings together my current research into the “uses of use” with some early findings from my project on feminist complaint. I consider how social justice projects require making usage into a crisis.

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).

Date(s) - Oct 18
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

EUC Maple Room, UNCG


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