Posts

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

Image
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

Image
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…

#3 'Disruptive and Wilful Subjects' - 31/10/17

Image
For our third session, we will be reading the first chapter of Sara Ahmed's Willful Subjects (2014), entitled 'Willing Subjects.' A PDF is accessible via Google Drive here.

(Secondary reading: a blog post by Sara Ahmed on feministkilljoys, entitled 'Willful Stones,' accessible here).

In 'Willing Subjects,' Ahmed is interested in fundamentally redefining "will" as not that which is behind action but, rather, 'an object of thought' and a 'mode of experience' that may or may not predicate an action (25). She construes the relationship between the potentiality of "willing" and the effects of "willing" in Lacanian terms as a split between 'the subject of enunciation and the subject of the √©nonc√©' whereby '[t]he will appears on both sides of the address, on the side of the subject and the object: who is willing, what is willed' (27; original emphasis). To the extent that the willing subject is split, …

#2 'Affective and Affected Bodies' - 17/10/17

Image
For our second session (Tuesday 17th October), we will be reading the first chapter of Sara Ahmed's The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2004), entitled 'The Contingency of Pain.' A PDF is accessible via Google Drive here.

[Seconding reading: Susan Sontag's 'Photojournalism - social aspects' from Regarding the Pain of Others (2003). A PDF is accessible via Google Drive here].

In 'The Contingency of Pain,' Ahmed explores how bodies register pain psycho-somatically as well as through discourse. She is especially interested in how we discourse pain (i.e. by attaching pain to particular objects or by narrating the arrival of pain) in order to form our bodies as 'perceiving surface[s]' (Ahmed, 26) and instantiate our being in-the-world.

In 'Photojournalism - social aspects' (2003), Sontag shares with Ahmed an interest in 'the sociality of pain' (Ahmed, 28); both are concerned with the act of witnessing. In striking semblance with the ti…

#1 'The Stranger' - 03/10/17

Image
For our first session, we will be discussing the second chapter of Sara Ahmed's second monograph, Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality (2000). A PDF is accessible via Google Drive here.

(Further reading: Audre Lorde's essay 'Eye to Eye: Black Women, Hatred, and Anger*' from Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches which Sara Ahmed uses as an epigraph to 'Embodying Strangers.' A PDF is accessible via Google Drive here).

In 'Embodying Strangers,' Ahmed crystallises how 'the stranger' comes into being through a visual and tactile economy. The essay deals with construction of the stranger as, following Georg Simmel, both far and near (see Simmel, 1950, p.402), as well as the significance of touch and contact in the formation of relations of strangeness.

Event details: Tuesday 3rd October, 5pm-6:30pm, LHRI, Room 1.

All welcome!

Reading Sara Ahmed

Quilting Points returns for a sixth year with a new focus on Sara Ahmed. We’re delighted to announce the return of Quilting Points, an interdisciplinary, critical and cultural reading group and seminar series at the University of Leeds.

This year we'll be facilitating a year-long discussion on the work of Sara Ahmed, one of the most prolific and influential contemporary thinkers currently working in the UK. Examining her monographs, essays and blog entries we'll look at how Ahmed has shaped the fields of postcolonial studies, feminism, queer theory, ethic studies and critical race theory. As an independent scholar and writer who scrutinises the operations of power in every day life, as well as institutions like the university, Ahmed's critical and intellectual range only looks set to widen in the future. As a group, we're looking forward to discussing and reading Ahmed while her critical project is still ongoing and we welcome individuals from across the university to…