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“After Complaint”

Feb 10, 2022 | 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Lecture Series „Critical Diversity and Gender Studies in the 21st Century“

As part of the "Audre Lorde-BUA-Guest Professorship for Intersectional Diversity Studies" of the Diversity and Gender Equality Network DiGENet, the educationalist and gender researcher Professor Maisha M. Auma will critically examine topics around diversity in academic institutions, inclusion and intersectionality from transnational perspectives this winter semester.

“After Complaint”
Prof. Sara Ahmed
Chair: Prof. Maisha M. Auma

The lecture series will take place online via Zoom:
Webinar-ID: 638 8454 9808
Code: 511663


In cooperation with the Berlin Center for Global Engagement (BCGE)

The event language is English.


In my recent book Complaint! (2021), I draw on testimonies shared by academics and students who have made complaints about abuses of power such as harassment or bullying or unequal working conditions in universities. In this lecture I reflect back on the process of writing the book, asking what it means to be after complaint given that, as one of the participants in my study puts it, some complaints “never leave you.” I will focus on the temporality of complaint, how to complain is to go back over what is not over, as well as on the immanence of complaint, how complaints about hostile environments are made in hostile environments. What do these arguments mean for the research itself, where it can and cannot go, and what it can and cannot do? I will share some data that I was not able to include in the book on the afterlives of complaints and will reflect specifically on my experiences, as a woman of colour scholar, of doing as well as presenting this research.


Sara Ahmed is an independent feminist scholar and writer. Her work is concerned with how power is experienced and challenged in everyday life and institutional cultures. She is currently writing The Feminist Killjoy Handbook and has begun a new research project on common sense. Her previous publications 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), Queer Phenomenology: Objects, Orientations, Others (2006), The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2014, 2004), Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality (2000) and Differences that Matter: Feminist Theory and Postmodernism (1998).