From Sara Ahmed’s feministkilljoys blog

  • Are told you are angry no matter what you say
  • Witness people’s eyes rolling as soon as you open your mouth as if to say: ‘oh here she goes!’
  • Are  angry because that’s a sensible response to what is wrong
  • Are often accused of getting in the way of the happiness of others (or just getting in the way)
  • Have ruined the atmosphere by turning up or speaking up
  • Have a body that reminds people of histories they find disturbing
  • Are willing to make disturbance a political cause
  • Are willing to cause unhappiness to follow your desire
  • Will not laugh at jokes designed to cause offense
  • Will take offense when it is there to be taken
  • Will point out when men cite men about men as a learned social habit that is diminishing (ie. most or usual citational practice)
  • Will notice and name whiteness. Will keep noticing and naming whiteness.
  • Will use words like ‘sexism’ and ‘racism’ even if that means being heard as the cause of bad feeling (and are willing to cause bad feeling)
  • Will refuse to look away from what compromises happiness
  • Are willing to be silly and display other inappropriate positive affects
  • Are willing to listen and learn from the work of feminists over time and refuse the caricatures of feminism and feminists that enables a disengagement from feminism
  •  Are prepared to be other peoples’ worst feminist nightmare
  • Are prepared to be called a kill joy
  •  Are willing to kill joy

Hello feminist killjoys!


Black Feminist Killjoy Reading 19/09

Our next BFK meeting will be on Tuesday 19th September at 16.30h where we will have the presence of the wonderful South Africa poet and scholar Gabeba Baderoon (thanks to Dr Lynda Spencer and her UCAPI project for making this possible). Here a text of Gabeba’s on the issue of domesticity and race in the home space and here an interview with poet and writer Matthew Shenoda and here and here some poems.

Black Feminist Killjoy Reading July

Our last reading group for this term was dedicated to re-membering and playing children games, sharing different ways how to play elastics, jump-roe, hand-clapping, counting-out-rhymes, musical chairs and other games, culminating in an exciting 30-seconds match. It was amazing to see how much is shared across languages, regions and generations when re-membering games and rhymes collecively.

We’ll meet again in July to read the first novel by Senegale author Mariama Bâ, So Long A Letter (original title “Une si longue lettre”, download it here) which won the first Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. By the way, the whole of the African Writer Series can be accessed here using your university library user details.

Black Feminist Killjoy Reading 16/05

Please present text/image/video examples of feminist killjoys (from art, popular culture or else) in our next meeting. To prepare our sharing of feminist kill-joy we’ll read the conclusion of Sara Ahmed’s book, entitled “Happiness, Ethics, Possibility” which reflects about the promiscuity of the word happiness: “After all, words can bring things into existence; words can do things, even if we don’t always know what it is they will do.” (p. 200)

Black Feminist Killjoy Reading 11/04

This week we’ll have an open session where you can bring in any material you want to share with the group – what inspires/influences/supports you (around 5-10 minutes). It can be anything!

Over the holidays, we’ll finish reading Our Sister Killjoy and have a final discussion in our next meeting.