#9 'The Diversity Worker' - 20/03/18

For our ninth session, we will be exploring the figure of the diversity worker through a reading of ‘The Language of Diversity', the second chapter of On Being Included (2012). The chapter is accessible here.

Secondary reading: Kenan Malik – ‘What’s the problem with multiculturalism?,' accessible here.

In 'The Language of Diversity' Ahmed highlights how diversity has commercial value, not only marketing the university, but making the university itself into a marketplace. We'll be discussing how diversity as a routine description poses a problem for diversity workers, as it maintains, rather than transforms, existing organisational values. Linking the diversity practitioner to Ahmed's other 'affect aliens', including feminist killjoys and strangers, we ask how does diversity organise, or stick to, certain bodies? What is the value of diversity within our own institutions? What does it mean to pose problems by exposing them?

All welcome!
Details: Tuesday…

#8 'Postmodern feminists' - 06/03/18

**In solidarity with striking members of the UCU at the University of Leeds, we will be running our eighth session off-campus at the Packhorse Pub from 4pm - 5:30pm. Staff, students and members of the public are very welcome.**
In this session, we will be discussing the first chapter of Differences that Matter: Feminist Theory and Postmodernism (2004 [1998]), entitled 'Speaking Back.' A PDF is accessible via Google Drive here.
Secondary reading: bell hooks ‘Postmodern Blackness’ in Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics (2015 [1990]). A PDF is accessible here.

In these essays, both Sara Ahmed and bell hooks think critically about the relationship between (intersectional) feminism and postmodernism. For example, Ahmed considers the paradoxical manner in which postmodernism covers a broad spectrum of epistemological disruption and is yet underpinned by processes of exclusion (see Ahmed, 2004, p.4). Via Helen Tiffin, she also draws attention to how postmodernism problemat…

#7 'Strangers' with Dr Jay Prosser

For our seventh session, we will be joined by Dr Jay Prosser for a special session on 'Strangers.' The session is intended to develop and complicate our thinking on strangers in Ahmed's work.

Dr Prosser is Reader in Humanities at the University of Leeds. He recommends that attendees read the following chapters from Tabish Khair's The New Xenophobia (2016) and Toni Morrison's The Origin of Others (2017) alongside a blog post from Ahmed on 'Making Strangers'.

A PDF of the Toni Morrison text is available here, and A PDF of the Tabish Khair text is available here.

Sara Ahmed's blog post, 'Making Strangers' is accessible here.
Back in October, for our first session of the academic year, we explored the figure of 'the stranger' in Ahmed's work through a reading of her essay, 'Embodying Strangers,' and Audré Lorde's essay 'Eye to Eye: Black Women, Hatred, and Anger*'. We considered how the stranger is produced by the su…

#6 'The Killjoy as World Maker - 06/02/18

For our first session of the new semester, and our sixth session of the year, we will be reading sections from both the introduction and conclusion of Living a Feminist Life (2017)

Both readings expand upon Ahmed's conceptualisation of the feminist killjoy within The Promise of Happiness (2010), creating a radical articulation of contemporary feminism delivered in an accessible style. Concluding Living a Feminist Life with a 'killjoy manifesto', Ahmed challenges killjoys to expose the myths encouraged by neoliberalism and global capitalism, rejecting the principle of happiness as a political cause.  Join us for a timely discussion of how to 'make feminisms work in the places we live, the places we work', bringing 'theory back to life' and much more.

All welcome!

Details: Tuesday 6th February, 5-6:30pm, LHRI, Room 1.

QUILTING POINTS presents: Sara Ahmed - 11/05/18

We're delighted to announce that Sara Ahmed will be joining us for a special event at the University of Leeds on Friday 11th May. Further details & information on booking will be released in the new year but in the meantime, save the date!

#5 'The Killjoy' - 28/11/17

For our fifth and final session of this semester, we will be reading a section from the second chapter of Ahmed's The Promise of Happiness (2010), entitled 'Feminist Killjoys.' A PDF is accessible here.

For further reading on the figure of thekilljoy we suggest the essay 'Feminist Killjoys (And Other Willful Subjects)' which is available here

The Promise of Happiness highlights how the killjoy emerges in relation to many of the figures who populate Ahmed's arguments, responding to the conditions of other affect aliens and contesting the idea of happiness itself. As Ahmed explains 'the feminist killjoy ‘spoils’ the happiness of others; she is a spoilsport because she refuses to convene, to assemble or to meet up over happiness' (65). Our reading for this week allows us to reflect upon many of our discussions and themes from semester one, raising important considerations of happy objects, willful subjects and much more. 

The figure of the feminist killjoy …

#4 'The Alien' - 14/11/17

For our fourth session, we will be discussing Sara Ahmed's concept of 'the alien' through a reading of her essay 'Happy Objects,' collected in Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth's The Affect Theory Reader (2010) and republished under the same title in Ahmed's book, The Promise of Happiness (2009). A PDF is available via Google Drive here.

(Secondary reading: Ahmed's post, 'Smile!' which appeared on her blog feministkilljoys in February 2017 - accessible here).

In 'Happy Objects,' Ahmed conceptualises affects as "sticky" insofar as 'affect is what sticks, or what sustains or preserves the connection between ideas, values and objects' (29). She considers how, in the process of being affected, different affects are transferred onto particular objects and make such objects the arbiters of particular feelings. This is to say, an object that makes one feels good affectively is affectively transformed into a good/happy ob…