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feminist theory | queer theory | philosophy

What’s the Use? On the Uses of Use

SARA AHMED “In this close reading of use, Sara Ahmed leads the reader from object to object in a pace that moves with the deliberateness of a philosopher and the grace of a literary scholar. With this and other books, Ahmed has established herself as one of the most important feminist thinkers in the world.”—ROSEMARIE GARLAND-THOMSON “With characteristic verve and force, Sara Ahmed explores the uses of use. More than a history of an idea and much more than a philosophical investigation of use and value, Ahmed’s book teaches us how to locate use, usefulness, used upness, used objects, and useful and useless knowledge in relation to time, space, queerness, and more. Read this book, you need it, and more importantly, you will use it. It is useful and use­ less in equal proportion and compelling precisely because of its mixed use value. Before you know it, you will get used to use and you will carry it with you always.” —JACK HALBERSTAM “How lucky we are that feminist killjoy Sara Ahmed takes us on this learned, witty, and insightful journey. With her evocative exasperation at the state of affairs with regard to the (im)possibilities of diversity work and complaint, she dismantles the sexist and racist structures of the modern university. Now as a courageous, independent scholar, Ahmed continues to shine her characteristic phenomenological lights on walls and doors and more. She is still here; she refused to get used to it!” —GLORIA WEKKER

October 288 pages, 52 illustrations paper, 978-1-4780-0650-3 $26.95/£20.99

In What’s the Use? Sara Ahmed continues the work she began in The Promise of Happiness and Willful Subjects by taking up a single word—in this case, use—and following it around. She shows how use became associated with life and strength in nineteenth-century biological and social thought and considers how utilitarianism offered a set of educational techniques for shaping individuals by directing them toward useful ends. Ahmed also 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 work of opening up institutions to those who have historically been excluded from them.

cloth, 978-1-4780-0584-1 $99.95/£83.00

Sara Ahmed is an independent scholar and author of Living a Feminist Life and several other books also published by Duke University Press.

Also by Sara Ahmed Living a Feminist Life “Everyone should read this book.” —bell hooks

paper, $27.95/£21.99 978-0-8223-6319-4 / 2017

Willful Subjects paper, $27.95/£21.99

Living a Feminist Life Sara ahmed

978-0-8223-5783-4 / 2014

On Being Included Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life paper, $25.95/£20.99 978-0-8223-5236-5 / 2012


Profile for Duke University Press

Duke University Press Fall and Winter 2019 Catalog  

The Fall & Winter 2019 catalog from Duke University Press.

Duke University Press Fall and Winter 2019 Catalog  

The Fall & Winter 2019 catalog from Duke University Press.