Centre for Modern Studies
Thursday 24 May 2012, 5.00PM
Speaker(s): Professor Sara Ahmed, Goldsmiths, University of London
Willfulness has been defined as asserting or disposed to assert one's own will against persuasion, instruction, or command; governed by will without regard to reason; determined to take one's own way; obstinately self-willed or perverse.
This lecture assembles a willfulness archive by following the figure of the willful subject around: tracking where willfulness goes, and 'in what' or 'in whom' it is found. The figure of the willful subject (often a child, often gendered as female) appears in literature, fables, educational treatises and moral philosophy, becoming recognizable as a figure, one that is 'under arrest.'
The lecture considers how willfulness has been thought of as a relation of part to whole: the willful part is the one who does not will the preservation or the happiness of the whole. Willfulness is also associated with wandering: with wandering away from the right path. The lecture explores how a willfulness archive is an archive of rebellion.
Sara Ahmed is Professor in Race and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. For more information, see her web page http://www.gold.ac.uk/media-communications/staff/ahmed/.
Location: Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building
Admission: All welcome