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Sara Ahmed, “Complaint as Diversity Work”

February 13, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


CSW is delighted to welcome Sara Ahmed as a featured speaker in our Feminism + the Senses series. We are presenting two events featuring Sara Ahmed on February 13, 2018:


Public Talk: Complaint as Diversity Work

DATE: Tuesday, February 13, 2018

TIME: 3:00 – 5:00 PM

LOCATION: Ackerman Grand Ballroom

Free and Open to the Public

REGISTER ONLINE: https://uclacsw.submittable.com/submit/abe1c4bb-ee7a-4da5-8eb4-16d04bc6f58f/free-registration-sara-ahmed-feminism-and-the-senses

Graduate Seminar

All UCLA Graduate Students are eligible to apply to participate in this one-time graduate seminar (not for course credit). Only those selected will be able to attend.

DATE: Tuesday, February 13, 2018

TIME: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

APPLY ONLINE: https://uclacsw.submittable.com/submit/ad6ab305-dbfd-43af-8f63-c84c3484c871/application-graduate-seminar-with-sara-ahmed


About the Speaker

Sara Ahmed is an independent feminist scholar and writer. She has held academic appointments at Lancaster University and 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 and has begun a new research project on complaint. 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). She also blogs at www.feministkilljoys.com.

In 2016, Ahmed resigned in protest from her post as Professor of Race and Cultural Studies at Goldmiths in response to the institution’s failure to deal with students’ sexual harassment and assault complaints against staff and faculty members. She continues to work to make the problem of sexual harassment at universities more visible through her involvement with organizations like The 1752 Group.

About the Talk

Register online to attend: https://uclacsw.submittable.com/submit/abe1c4bb-ee7a-4da5-8eb4-16d04bc6f58f/free-registration-sara-ahmed-feminism-and-the-senses

Ahmed will speak about her new research project on “Complaint.”

The lecture explores how complaint can be understood as a form of diversity work: the work you do to transform an institution, or the work you do when you do not quite inhabit the norm of an institution. If doing diversity work is heard as complaint, making a complaint often requires becoming a diversity worker. This is not to say that those who make complaints always think of themselves as diversity workers in the sense of trying to transform the institution in which the complaint is lodged. But in order to proceed with a complaint you often have to become a diversity worker because making a complaint within an institution brings you up against it. The lecture explores how we learn about the institutional (as usual) from those who are trying to transform institutions. The lecture will discuss how complaint is a sensational intervention into institutional life.


Location: Ackerman Studen Union, 2nd floor Grand Ballroom

Nearest Parking: Parking Structure 4 (enter via Westwood Plaza from Sunset Blvd.)


THIS IS A FRAGRANCE-FREE EVENT. For the health and safety of all attendees, please refrain from wearing products that contain fragrances when attending CSW events. Such products include: perfumes, hair products, deodorants, detergents, etc. For more information, visit our Events Accessibility Page: https://csw.ucla.edu/event-accessibility.

If you require accommodations in order for this event to be accessible to you (e.g., sign language interpretation, large print materials, etc.), please contact CSW at csw@csw.ucla.edu at least two weeks prior to the event.

About the Seminar

Registered UCLA Graduate Students from all departments are invited to apply to participate in a 1-time, 2-hour graduate seminar (not for course credit) with Sara Ahmed.

SEMINAR DATE: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
SEMINAR TIME: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location will be provided to accepted applicants

Participants will be required to read Chapters 4, 5, and 6 of Sara Ahmed’s Living and Feminist Life. Copies will be made available to participants in advance of the seminar. Participants are also expected to attend Dr. Ahmed’s public talk, “Complaint as Diversity Work,” at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, February 13, in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom.


Please complete the online form available at: https://uclacsw.submittable.com/submit/ad6ab305-dbfd-43af-8f63-c84c3484c871/application-graduate-seminar-with-sara-ahmed

You will be required to upload the following documents:

  • Current CV
  • A brief statement (250 words MAXIMUM) describing your research and/or activist interests and how you see this seminar contributing to them.


We will only consider COMPLETE applications submitted by the deadline. Late applications will not be accepted.

Co-sponsored by:

  • Backed by Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Division of Humanities
  • Department of Comparative Literature
  • Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health
  • International Institute
  • Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
  • Department of English
  • Department of Philosophy
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Gender Studies
  • LGBTQ Studies Program
  • Division of Social Sciences



Ackerman Grand Ballroom
Los Angeles,
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Ackerman Grand Ballroom
Los Angeles,
+ Google Map