Ahmed, Sara. (2017). Brick walls. Living a feminist life. Durham: Duke University Press, 135-160.
Ahmed describes how diversity work is the labor of coming up against institutional walls, sedimented through material histories of which bodies get access to institutional spaces.
Keywords: feminism, feminist theory, theory, diversity, access, materiality
“[S]o much of what we have to do, because of what or who we are not, is not recognized. When we are diversity workers in both senses this both tends to be obscured as if doing diversity is just about being diversity, or as if being is all we have to do” (p. 135).
“Materiality: if we are hit by something, we become conscious of something” (p. 138).
“You encounter the materiality of resistance to transformation when you try to transform what has become material” (p. 140).
“To think about materiality through institutional brick walls is to offer a different way of thinking the connections between bodies and worlds. Materiality is about what is real; it is something real that blocks movement, which stops a progression” (p. 142).
“Walls are how some bodies are not encountered in the first place
Walls are how some bodies are stopped by an encounter” (p. 145, original emphasis).
“A wall comes up to defend something from someone; walls as defense mechanisms.
A wall becomes necessary because the wrong bodies could pass through” (p. 145, original emphasis).
“When citational practices become habits, bricks form walls. I think as feminists we can hope to create a crisis around citation, even just a hesitation, a wondering, that might help us not to follow the well-trodden citational paths. If you aim to create a crisis in citation, you tend to become the cause of a crisis” (p. 148).
“When these words are dismissed, we are witnessing a defense of the status quo: it is a way of saying there is nothing wrong with this; what is wrong is the judgment that there is something wrong with this. There very systematic nature of sexism and racism is obscured because of the systematic nature of sexism and racism” (p. 157).