In this paper, I reflect on institutional speech acts: those that make claims “about” or “on behalf’ of an institution. Such speech acts involve acts of naming: the institution is named, and in being “given” a name, the institution is also “given” attributes, qualities, and even a character. By “speech acts” I include not just spoken words but writing and visual images—all the materials that give an institution interiority, as if it has a face, as well as feelings, thoughts, or judgments. They might say, for example, “the university regrets,” or just simply, “we regret.” More specifically, in this paper, I examine documents that are authorized by institutions (such as race-equality policies, which are often signed by, say, the vice-chancellor on behalf of an institution), make claims about the institution (for instance, by describing the institution as having certain qualities, such as being diverse),...
The Nonperformativity of Antiracism
Sara Ahmed is a feminist writer and independent scholar. She works at the intersection of feminist, queer, and race studies. Her research is concerned with how bodies and worlds take shape, and how power is secured and challenged in everyday life worlds as well as institutional cultures.
Sara Ahmed; The Nonperformativity of Antiracism. Meridians 1 December 2020; 19 (S1): 196–218. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15366936-8565957
Download citation file: