Sara Ahmed

Sara Ahmed, Complaint: Diversity Work, Feminism, Institutions

Sara Ahmed visited UC Davis on February 15, 2018 to speak on "Complaint: Diversity Work, Feminism, Institutions." A video recording is now available for those who were unable to attend the lecture. 


The lecture will draw on interviews with students and staff who have made (or have considered making) complaints about abuses of power within universities. It will show how feminist complaint can be a form of diversity work: as the work you would have to do before some populations can be included within institutions. We learn about the institutional “as usual” from those who are trying to transform institutions. Finally, the lecture will discuss how identifying and challenging abuses of power teaches us about the mechanics of power.

Sara Ahmed is an independent feminist scholar and writer. She has held academic appointments at Lancaster University and Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work is concerned with how power is experienced and challenged in everyday life and institutional cultures. She is currently completing a book titled What’s the Use? On the Uses of Use and has begun a new research project on complaint. Her previous publications include Living a Feminist Life (2017), Willful Subjects (2014), On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (2012), The Promise of Happiness (2010), Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others (2006), The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2004, 2014), Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality (2000), and Differences that Matter: Feminist Theory and Postmodernism (1998).

Sponsors Include: The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, the Community and Regional Development Program, the Center for Regional Change, the Feminist Research Institute, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Graduate Group in Cultural Studies, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity, the College of Biological Sciences, the School of Law, the UC Davis Health Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, the Institute for Social Sciences, the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, the Department of American Studies, the Department of English, the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, the Graduate Group in Performative Studies, the Department of Comparative Literature, and the Department of Anthropology.

Related VideoWhat is Feminist Research Series interview with Sara Ahmed

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