Ahmed Killjoys Class Agenda

This is the agenda for Feminist Theory on 4/22/14.

Attend & Announce
  • Next class is the last class! We’ll read the Grace Jones section of Shavrio’s PCA
  • Projects are due in my email inbox no later than 11:59pm Sunday 5/4.
    • Questions? Email or Skype appointment. I’m at a conference 5/1-3, so I need questions early.


For what might count as my ‘lecture’ for today, please see the preceding post on this blog, “On Pharrell’s ‘Happy'”.

Further Questions
  1. “That you have described what was said by another as a problem means you have created a problem. You become the problem you create.” How is this way of being a problem similar to and/or different from Du Bois’s question “How does it feel to be a problem?”
  2. How is Ahmed’s discussion of the imperative to “be happy” and “get over it” (it, here, being the pain of racism) tied to resilience discourse?
  3. Is it expected that we, as feminists, do work to “keep the peace” even and especially if this means bearing offense, harm, or other injury? How might norms of “collegiality” or “being nice” or “solidarity” or “safe space” actually reinforce hegemonic relations of power and privilege?
    1. Women are often tasked with maintaining social relationships and the “flow” of sociality. It is also commonly acknowledged among feminists that women are socialized to keep the men around them happy/not upset others, especially men. How do we socialize women to feel like they must keep others happy, that they must keep the social flow going even if it comes at a cost to them?
    2. To what extent is polite/professional social flow possible only because women are expected to “fake it”? In what ways do women have to “fake it”, happiness-wise?
  4. Are women and men of color tasked with the affective labor of the appearance of happiness? In other words, to what extent are we compelled to perform happiness, e.g., as a means to suture disruption and perpetuate the ‘usual’ or ‘normal’ way of things?
  5. What’s the relationship between killjoying and “critique” in either its classical and/or critical theory sense?
    1. “To be “estranged from” can be what enables a “consciousness of.” This is why being a killjoy can be a knowledge project, a world-making project.”

The blog discussion will happen online. Please comment on at least 3 people’s blogs, and respond to commenters on your blog. If you would like to continue this conversation on twitter, use #unccfemtheory.