#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 the killjoy 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 appears prominently across many of Ahmed's books, essays and blog posts, emerging from these arguments as one of her most influential and prominent critical concepts to date. We will be running several sessions on killjoys in Ahmed's work across the 2017/18 academic year, but begin here with an early argument to trace the beginnings of this particular willful subject. Our conversations in semester two will also include considerations of more recent killjoys and their world-making projects, particularly as explored in Living a Feminist Life (2017).
Details: Tuesday 28th November, 5pm-6:30pm, LHRI, Room 1.