In Living a Feminist Life, Sara Ahmed shows how feminist theory is generated from everyday life and the ordinary experiences of being a feminist at home and at work. Building on legacies of feminist of colour scholarship in particular, Ahmed offers a poetic and personal meditation on how feminists become estranged from worlds they critique—often by naming and calling attention to problems—and how feminists learn about worlds from their efforts to transform them. Ahmed also provides her most sustained commentary on the figure of the feminist killjoy introduced in her earlier work while showing how feminists create inventive solutions—such as forming support systems—to survive the shattering experiences of facing the walls of racism and sexism. The killjoy survival kit and killjoy manifesto, with which the book concludes, supply practical tools for how to live a feminist life, thereby strengthening the ties between the inventive creation of feminist theory and living a life that sustains it.
With an introduction by Chayanika Shah.
“From the moment I received Sara Ahmed’s new work, Living a Feminist Life, I couldn’t put it down … Ahmed lifts us higher.”
— bell hooks
“I read Living a Feminist Life with a deep sense of recognition. This is a book that feminists will find illuminating—acutely painful at times, but mostly profoundly insightful … A beautifully written, smartly provocative book that belongs on our shelves, in our classrooms, and in our daughters’ hands.”
— Chandra Talpade Mohanty, author of Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity
SARA AHMED is a feminist writer, scholar, and activist. She works at the intersection of feminist, queer, and race studies. Her research is concerned with how bodies and worlds take shape; and how power is secured and challenged in everyday life worlds as well as institutional cultures. She is the author of Willful Subjects, On Being Included, The Promise of Happiness, and Queer Phenomenolog.
CHAYANIKA SHAH is an optimist activist at heart, a physicist by training and a teacher by choice. She has worked in areas like politics of population control, communalism, feminist studies of science, and sexuality, which seem to have no connection with each other but which have come together of late to define her as a queer feminist. Her co-authored books include No Outlaws in the Gender Galaxy (Zubaan 2015); Bharat ki Chaap, and We and Our Fertility: The Politics of Technological Intervention.