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Public Events Programme

Academic Year 2019-20

What's the Use?: Sara Ahmed Book Launch 

Sara AhmedlgbtQ+@cam logo

The Centre for Gender Studies hosted a book launch with lgbtQ+@cam for What’s the Use? on Thursday 13 February 2020 in the Main Lecture Theatre, Divinity School, St. John’s College. Sara Ahmed gave a fascinating presentation on her new book, which was followed by a launch discussion with Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology; Life Fellow, Girton College and Dr Natasha Tanna, Lecturer in Spanish, Christ's College, Cambridge. There was also a special appearance by Puff Dolly, the Sheep Poet! Informal discussion was continued at the drinks reception and book signing.

Our sincere thanks to Professor Sara Ahmed, Professor Sarah Franklin, and all event contributors. 

Venue Map: Divinity School

In What's the Use?, Sara Ahmed takes up a single word—in this case, use—and follows it around. Ahmed explores how spaces become restricted to some uses and users, with specific reference to universities. She notes, however, the potential for queer use: how things can be used in ways that were not intended or by those for whom they were not intended. Ahmed posits queer use as a way of reanimating the project of diversity work as the ordinary and painstaking task of opening up institutions to those who have historically been excluded.