Sara Ahmed

Sara Ahmed

Feminist Scholar, Author

"On complaint"

Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 7:00pm

Kislak Center
Otto G. Richter Library, 1300 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, Florida 33146

Free & Open to the Public‌  |  Registration Required


This lecture draws on interviews conducted with staff and students who have made complaints within universities that relate to unfair, unjust or unequal working conditions or to abuses of power such as sexual and racial harassment. Making a complaint requires that an individual become an institutional mechanic: one has to work out how to get a complaint through a system. It is because of the difficulty of "getting through" that complaints often end up being about the system. The lecture explores the significance of how complaints happen 'behind closed doors,' and shows how doors are often closed even when they appear to be open. 


"In a number of important books, theorist Sara Ahmed has estranged, debunked, and inverted paradigms we thought we knew, some of them prevalent in left as well as mainstream circles...she reaches out to readers beyond the university—in particular, to younger women seeking to identify and endure as feminists." - Susan Fraiman, on Living a Feminist Life

Sara Ahmed is an independent feminist scholar and writer. She has held appointments in Women’s Studies at Lancaster University and Race and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work is concerned with how power is experienced and challenged in everyday life and institutional cultures. She has recently completed a book, What’s the Use? On the Uses of Use, which is forthcoming with Duke University Press in October 2019.  Her previous publications include Living a Feminist Life (2017), Willful Subjects (2014), On Being Included (2012), The Promise of Happiness (2010), Queer Phenomenology (2006), The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2014, 2004), Strange Encounters (2000) and Differences that Matter (1998). 

Her writing has been translated into many languages including Korean, Turkish, Spanish, German, Finnish, and Swedish. Sara Ahmed’s book The Promise of Happiness received the FWSA prize for “ingenuity and scholarship in the fields of feminism, gender or women’s studies” in 2011 and she received The Kessler Award in 2017 for contributions to the field of LGBTQ studies. Ahmed aslo blogs at


Please note: Per the University’s new parking policy, hourly parking rates will apply to all visitors from 8am to 11pm. Visitors will need to follow posted instructions to pay-by-phone or pay via the pay stations located throughout campus. For more information, please contact Parking and Transportation at 305-284-3096, option 2.

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