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English Dept Webinar: “Killjoys at Work” by Dr. Sara Ahmed

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About the event

The Department of English at WSU invites you to its Fall 2023 Webinar titled “Killjoys at Work” by renowned scholar of queer, feminist, and critical race studies Dr. Sara Ahmed. This webinar is sponsored by the David G. Pollart Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH).


To be a feminist killjoy is to be a killjoy at work. We work on institutions as well as at them. In this talk I explore what we come to know about institutions from our efforts to transform them. I will draw especially from two chapters “The Feminist Killjoy as Philosopher” and “The Feminist Killjoy as Activist” in my newly published The Feminist Killjoy Handbook. To be killjoys at work means being willing to confront institutional problems, to question how diversity is happily claimed by organisations, and to challenge how they use our efforts to change them as evidence they have changed. To be killjoys at work also requires being alert to how the figure of the feminist killjoy can be appropriated and neutralised. We have to find other institutional killjoys, because the more we come up against, the more we need more.

Author Bio

Sara Ahmed is an independent queer feminist scholar of color. Her work is concerned with how power is experienced and challenged in everyday life and institutional cultures. The Feminist Killjoy Handbook (Seal Press) is her first trade book. Previous books published (all published by Duke University Press) include Complaint! (2021), What’s The Use? On the Uses of Use (2019), Living a Feminist Life (2017), Willful Subjects (2014), On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (2012), The Promise of Happiness (2010) and Queer Phenomenology: Objects, Orientations, Others (2006). She is currently writing A Complainer’s Handbook: A Guide to Building Less Hostile Institutions and has begun a new project on common sense. She blogs at You can find her on twitter @SaraNAhmed and Instagram @SaraNoAhmed.