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Sara Ahmed

Author of Living a Feminist Life

25+ Works 1,706 Members 15 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Sara Ahmed is an independent scholar and author of Living a Feminist Life and several other books also published by Duke University Press.

Includes the name: Sara Ahmed

Works by Sara Ahmed

Associated Works

Your Silence Will Not Protect You: Essays and Poems (2017) — Introduction — 192 copies
The Affect Theory Reader (2009) — Contributor — 159 copies
New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics (2010) — Contributor — 97 copies
Erilaisuus (2003) — Contributor — 2 copies


Common Knowledge



Excellent. An absolutely brilliant book; Sara Ahmed’s distinctive, poetic writing style has never been more suited to her work.
LizzK | 1 other review | Mar 11, 2024 |
While Ahmed's concepts are incredibly interesting, her writing style is not my favorite. I felt like the language could be unnecessarily circular at times and incredibly academic. I appreciate how the concepts build on one another, but I also feel that this is a better book to read and discuss than to try and read on your own.
BarnesBookshelf | 5 other reviews | Oct 4, 2023 |
The Feminist Killjoy Handbook by Sara Ahmed is a book that contains so much valuable information, and offers so much support to help people speak up, but I found the actual reading of it to be disjointed. That is probably too strong a word, but in that direction.

I definitely qualify as a killjoy, for a long time I was that person who would speak up in "inappropriate" settings or take things "too seriously." My thinking is that as a male who is generally perceived as white (which I mostly am, but many whites have an all or nothing mindset and I usually, to strangers or casual acquaintances, fall into their group) I am often in situations where silence is considered agreement. Since I hate for people to think I believe certain things, I will speak up. So many of the things in this book are easy for me to relate to. Well, as far as the act of being a killjoy. What I don't have is a lot of the personal experience that makes some acts more, well, personal.

Though I didn't find the writing to my liking, I also didn't dislike it, I just found myself having to step away more often than I would have liked. Fortunately, most of the theorists and writers Ahmed cites are the same ones I studied and taught, so that made me want to reengage every time I disengaged.

For those who like the style, this is both a strong call to action as well as a place someone can return when the act of speaking up and acting out wears you down and you need a reenergizing pep talk. My hope is that more people will want to be a killjoy since the goal is not to kill joy so much as remake society in a better and more equitable form.

I have no problem recommending this to anyone who wants to know how to contribute. Take what you need now and grow into the parts you will need later. We all need to be reminded, especially if we're some place where we are constantly speaking up, that we are not alone.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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1 vote
pomo58 | 1 other review | Sep 6, 2023 |
There's a lot of layers to this, though I do think it's a fairly accessible text--maybe like a feminism 200 level book, rather than a specific intro. I think it's a book that's really open to an interesting discussion on so many things, making it very useful in the classroom for sure.

The section where she discusses her own feminist awakening(s) but in the second person is certainly a choice that I struggled with, because it took what was a personalized experience and made it feel universalized (which is a thing that happens a lot in less careful feminisms through discussions of socialization that universalize rather than personalize;) while I appreciate the need for distance from her own trauma, I think it made that section far messier and unclear than it might have otherwise.

And the chapter on lesbian feminism was exciting but also kind of retrod a lot of areas that don't match up always with the women of color feminism that Ahmed is in the tradition of (interesting to read that chapter alongside Audre Lorde's writings on why separatism isn't feasible, for example--which I don't think is necessary for a lesbian feminism, but is a greater feature of Ahmed's lesbian feminism than I think makes sense. Plus, the separatism is less fun than the loving women and being oriented toward women, but that's a whole other essay.)

But I do think it's a solid read, and again, could be super useful in teaching for sure!
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aijmiller | 5 other reviews | Feb 10, 2021 |



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