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From My Window

Lecture by Sara Ahmed

On Complaint


What happens when someone within an institution complaints about bad practice, violation of rights, or abuse of power? In this lecture, the feminist writer Sara Ahmed will explore how we learn about abuses of power from those who make complaints about those abuses. She will consider how making a complaint requires becoming an institutional killjoy: those who complain end up getting in the way of institutional happiness. Making a complaint also requires becoming an institutional mechanic: you have to work out how to get a complaint through a system. The lecture explores how the experiences that lead to complaint and the experiences of complaint are hard to untangle, and it reflects on the role of networks and intimacies in shaping what happens to complaints and to those who complain.

Presenters: Lúa Coderch

Participants: Sara Ahmed

This activity is part of From My Window

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Sara Ahmed, researcher and writer specialising in feminism, queer theory and postcolonial criticism, talks about the difficulties involved in presenting a complaint in matters of harassment at universities as a result of institutional bullying. She advocates victims uniting in order to challenge a body that frequently tries to discourage them from complaining and convince them of the damaging effects it may have for them, while those responsible band together and support each other to defend their common interests. ...

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Sara Ahmed. Feminist Killjoys

Sara Ahmed

Sara Ahmed is a British-Australian feminist writer and academic whose work centres on the intersection between feminism, queer theory and postcolonial criticism. Ahmed studies the everyday world as a place where power is consolidated and can therefore also be called into question. In 2004 she ...

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