Sara Ahmed

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For the Egyptian weightlifter, see Sara Ahmed (weightlifter).
Sara Ahmed
Born Sara Ahmed
(1969-08-30) 30 August 1969 (age 47)
Salford, England
Nationality British and Australian
Alma mater Cardiff University

Sara Ahmed (30 August 1969)[1] is a British-Australian scholar whose area of study includes the intersection of feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory and postcolonialism.


Ahmed was born in Salford, England. She has a Pakistani father and English mother and emigrated to Adelaide, Australia, with her family in the early 1970s.[2] Key themes in her work such as migration, orientation, difference, strangerness, and mixed identities relate directly to some of these early experiences. She completed her first degree at Adelaide University and doctoral research at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory, Cardiff University.[3] Ahmed was based in the Institute for Women’s Studies at Lancaster University from 1994-2004 and is one of the former directors of the Institute.[4] Sara Ahmed was appointed to Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2004. She was the inaugural director of the Centre for Feminist Research, which was set up 'to consolidate Goldsmiths' feminist histories and to help shape feminist futures at Goldsmiths.' [5] Ahmed resigned from her post at Goldsmiths in 2016, in protest over the alleged sexual harassment of students by the staff at Goldsmiths.[6] She has indicated that she will continue her work as an independent scholar from January 2017.[7] Ahmed has been the Laurie New Jersey Chair in Women’s Studies at Rutgers University[8] in Spring 2009 and was the Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Professor in Gender Studies at Cambridge University in Lent 2013.[9] In 2015 she was the keynote speaker of the National Women's Studies Association annual conference.[10] She blogs at Feminist Killjoys.


Sara Ahmed has been described as a prolific writer. One reviewer of her work commented: "Few academic writers working in the UK context today can match Sara Ahmed in her prolific output, and fewer still can maintain the consistently high level of her theoretical explorations.”[11] Ahmed has written eight single-authored books: Differences that Matter: Feminist Theory and Postmodernism (1998);[12] Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality (2000);[13] The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2004, second edition 2014);[14] Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others (2006);[15] The Promise of Happiness (2010),[16] (which was awarded the FWSA book prize in 2011 for "ingenuity and scholarship in the fields of feminism, gender or women’s studies");[17] On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (2012).,[18] Willful Subjects.[19] and Living a Feminist Life (2017).[20]


  1. ^ "Ahmed, Sara, 1969-". Library of Congress. Retrieved 16 January 2015. data sheet (Ahmed, Sara; b. 08-30-69) 
  2. ^ Sian, Katy (2014). Conversations in Postcolonial Thought. Palgrave. pp. 17–18. 
  3. ^ "Differences That Matter" (PDF). 1998. 
  4. ^ "People - Centre for Gender and Womens' Studies, Lancaster University, UK". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  5. ^ "Centre for Feminist Research". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  6. ^ "London university professor quits over sexual harassment of female students by staff". Retrieved 2017-01-21. 
  7. ^ Ahmed, Sara. "Feministkilljoys". 
  8. ^ "Spring Newsletter 2009" (PDF). 
  9. ^ "Cambridge Gender Studies". 
  10. ^ Koch-Rein, Anson (2015-11-09). "NWSA Conference 2015". Anson Koch-Rein, PhD. Retrieved 2016-09-22. 
  11. ^ Shildrick, Margrit (2009). "Review, Queer Phenomenology". International Journal of Philosophical Studies. 17 (4). 
  12. ^ Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [1]
  13. ^ "Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality (Paperback) - Routledge". Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  14. ^ Edinburgh University Press and New York: Routledge. [2]
  15. ^ "Duke University Press". Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  16. ^ Durham: Duke University Press.[3]
  17. ^ March 2012 FWSA Newsletter, p.7-8.
  18. ^ Durham: Duke University Press[4]
  19. ^ Durham: Duke University Press[5]
  20. ^ "Living a Feminist Life | Duke University Press". Retrieved 2016-09-24.