Sara Ahmed was born on 30 August in 1969 to a Pakistani father and English mother and migrated to Adelaide, Australia, with her family in the early 1970s. She is a scholar whose area of study includes the intersection of feminist
Sara Ahmed was born on 30 August in 1969 to a Pakistani father and English mother and migrated to Adelaide, Australia, with her family in the early 1970s. She is a scholar whose area of study includes the intersection of feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory and post-colonialism. Key themes in her work such as migration, orientation, difference, stranger-ness, and mixed identities relate directly to some of these early experiences.
Sara completed her first degree at Adelaide University and doctoral research at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory, Cardiff University. She was based in the Institute for Women’s Studies at Lancaster University from 1994-2004 and is one of the former directors of the Institute.
She was appointed to Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2004. Sara Ahmed was the inaugural director of the Centre for Feminist Research, which was set up 'to consolidate Goldsmiths' feminist histories and to help shape feminist futures at Goldsmiths.'
She resigned from her post at Goldsmiths in 2016, in protest over the alleged sexual harassment of students by the staff at Goldsmiths. She has indicated that she will continue her work as an independent scholar from January 2017.
Sara has been the Laurie New Jersey Chair in Women’s Studies at Rutgers University in spring 2009 and was the Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Professor in Gender Studies at Cambridge University in Lent 2013. In 2015 she was the keynote speaker of the National Women's Studies Association annual conference. She blogs at Feminist Killjoys.
Sara Ahmed has been described as a prolific writer. One reviewer of her work commented, few academic writers working in the UK context today can match Sara Ahmed in her prolific output, and fewer still can maintain the consistently high level of her theoretical explorations.
She has written eight single-authored books, Differences that Matter, Feminist Theory and Postmodernism (1998), Strange Encounters, Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality (2000), The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2004, second edition 2014), Queer Phenomenology, Orientations, Objects, Others (2006), The Promise of Happiness (2010), (which was awarded the FWSA book prize in 2011 for ingenuity and scholarship in the fields of feminism, gender or women’s studies), On Being Included, Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (2012), Willful Subjects and Living a Feminist Life (2017).