SARA AHMED, “Queer Use”
Friday, Feb. 16, 2018
This lecture by scholar Sara Ahmed explores the queerness of use as well as uses of queer. The lecture begins with a reflection on the gap between the intended function of an object and how an object is used as a gap with a queer potential. The lecture does not simply affirm that potential, but offers an account of how institutional worlds are built to enable some uses (and users) more than others. To bring out the queerness of use thus requires a world-dismantling effort. The lecture reflects on how dismantling is framed as damage and considers the relationship between the creativity of queer use, violence and survival.
Sara Ahmed is an independent scholar and writer. Her work is shaped by a close engagement with feminist and queer of color scholarship and activism. She has recently completed a book, What's the Use? On the Uses of Use, and has begun working on an empirical research project on complaint. Her 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).
Arcus Endowment of the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley
Arts Research Center, UC Berkeley
Center for the Study of Sexual Culture, UC Berkeley
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
Queer Cultural Center
The Program in Critical Theory, UC Berkeley
Center for Race and Gender, UC Berkeley
Gender and Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley