Sara Ahmed on Complaint

The amazing and insightful Sara Ahmed in a recent lecture about complaint, drawing on her recent work interviewing people in various institutional contexts about their experiences with the complaints process.

Ahmed resigned her position at Goldsmiths in 2016 as a way of protesting the university’s failure to properly address sexual harassment.

https://www.wheelercentre.com/broadcasts/sara-ahmed-on-complaint

2 thoughts on “Sara Ahmed on Complaint

  1. I’ve been overwhelmed for years, seeking a resolution for an incredibly drawn out graduate school ordeal through Queen’s Department of Philosophy that has been profoundly harmful to both me and my son, and left my life wildly off the rails. My story doesn’t fit dominant narratives as it includes abusive supervision by a feminist philosopher (that is almost entirely on record as the vast bulk of it took place through email).

    The responses given to my complaints and proposal to move forward — in conjunction with the horrible situation I was complaining about — have very nearly killed me.

    A psychologist I was paying $200 / hour to see (that I can’t afford, so I had to stop seeing him) described my situation as a textbook case of systemic trauma, psychologically comparable to being repeatedly raped (an explosive metaphor, I know).

    Some pertinent links:

    https://www.queensjournal.ca/story/2014-11-27/news/philosophy-prof-reveals-discrimination/

    https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/confronting-sexism/#comment-36921

  2. I’m not surprised by the silence here. It reflects the response I’ve been given for years already. It’s truly a wonder that I’m still alive.

    “If no one turned round when we entered, answered when we spoke, or minded what we did, but if every person we met ‘cut us dead,’ and acted as if we were non-existing things, a kind of rage and impotent despair would ere long well up in us, from which the cruelest bodily tortures would be a relief; for these would make us feel that, however bad might be our plight, we had not sunk to such a depth as to be unworthy of attention at all.” — William James

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