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In this live streamed lecture, Sara Ahmed brings together stories about making complaints by academics and students of colour to show how universities remain hostile environments despite or even through official policies on diversity and inclusion.

I explain why doors keep coming up in stories of complaint with specific reference to the “diversity door.” People of colour are assumed to enter that door, which is often shut by appearing to be open“. Sara Ahmed

The online talk explores how complaints about hostile environments are made in hostile environments and how those who complain become strangers or suspects, “persons to be interrogated.” This talk draws on Ahmed’s ongoing research project and investigation into complaint, inspired by her own experiences of supporting university students. Ahmed’s talk ‘Complaint, Diversity and Other Hostile Environments’, will be followed by a closing Q+A discussion moderated by Zélie Asava, Independent Scholar, Film Classifier and author of Mixed Race Cinemas: Multiracial Dynamics in America and France (Bloomsbury, 2017) and The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Identities on Irish Film and Television (Peter Lang, 2013).

Invited Q+A panelists include: Dr Arpita Chakraborty, Irish Research Council Enterprise Fellow at Dublin City University and Action Aid Ireland; Dr Philomena Mullen, Assistant Professor Black Studies, Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin and Dr John Wilkins, Holds a PHD doctorate from Trinity College Dublin’s School of English that interrogates representations of Black Gay Male Identity in the African Diaspora.


Watch 'Complaint, Diversity and Other Hostile Environments' by Sara Ahmed

About Speakers

Sara Ahmed is a feminist of colour scholar and writer. Her work addresses how power is experienced and challenged in everyday life and institutional cultures. The lecture is drawn from her book Complaint! which will be published by Duke University Press in September 2021. Previous publications include What’s the Use: On the Uses of Use (2019), Living a Feminist Life (2017), Willful Subjects (2014), On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (2012), The Promise of Happiness (2010) and Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others (2016). A range of articles by Ahmed are available to read online here. For more details on Ahmed’s project visit her website here.

Dr Zélie Asava is an Independent Scholar and Film Classifier. She is the author of Mixed Race Cinemas: Multiracial Dynamics in America and France (Bloomsbury, 2017) and The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Identities on Irish Film and Television (Peter Lang, 2013). Zélie has taught extensively at University College Dublin and Dundalk Institute of Technology (where she was Programme Director of the degrees in Film Production and Creative Multimedia), as well as at Trinity College Dublin and IADT. She is on the Advisory Board of the Catalyst Film Festival. Zélie has written essays on questions of race, gender and sexuality in Irish, French, Francophone African and US cinema for a wide range of journals and collections, including the forthcoming books Austerity and Irish Women’s Writing, 1980-2020 (Routledge: 2022) and Innovations in Black European Studies (Peter Lang Press: 2022). More details here

Invited Q+A panelists

Dr Arpita Chakraborty, Irish Research Council Enterprise Fellow at Dublin City University and Action Aid Ireland.

Dr Philomena Mullen, Assistant Professor Black Studies, Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin.

Dr John Wilkins, Holds a PHD doctorate from Trinity College Dublin’s School of English that interrogates representations of Black Gay Male Identity in the African Diaspora.


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