The Institutional as Usual: Diversity Work as Data Collection

Sara Ahmed

Occupied toiletThis lecture explores how institutions are built from small acts of use. The institutional becomes usual. What usually happens seems to keep happening without having to be made into official policy and sometimes even despite an official policy. We learn about the institutional (as usual) from those who are trying to transform institutions. Diversity work, the work of trying to transform institutions by opening them up to populations that have hitherto been excluded, generates data on institutions, snap shots of institutional life from the point of view of those trying not to reproduce that life. In the lecture I will bring together data from my study of diversity work in universities first presented in On Being Included (2012) and developed in the middle section of Living a Feminist Life (2017) with my current research into “the uses of use” and complaint. I consider how social justice projects require making usage into a crisis.

About the Speaker

Sara Ahmed is an independent scholar and feminist writer.  She has held academic posts at Lancaster University and Goldsmiths, University of London. Her books 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).

 

 

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This event is free and open to the public. RSVP is preferred but not required and seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis.