Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Sara Ahmed and Hannah Dawson in Conversation

Join us when we mark Feminist Book Fortnight with a discussion of Sara Ahmed’s THE FEMINIST KILLJOY HANDBOOK and Hannah Dawson’s anthology THE PENGUIN BOOK OF FEMINIST WRITING

18 May 2023 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm

£6 Concession, standard, and solidarity tickets available

The Feminist Killjoy Handbook

We have to keep saying it because they keep doing it.

Do colleagues roll their eyes in a meeting when you use words like sexism or racism? Do you refuse to laugh at jokes that aren’t funny? Have you been called divisive for pointing out a division? Then you are a feminist killjoy, and this handbook is for you.

The term killjoy has been used to dismiss feminism by claiming that it causes misery. But by naming ourselves feminist killjoys, we recover a feminist history, turning it into a source of strength as well as an inspiration.

Drawing on her own stories and those of others, especially Black and brown feminists and queer thinkers, Sara Ahmed combines depth of thought with honesty and intimacy. THE FEMINIST KILLJOY HANDBOOK unpicks the lies our culture tells us and provides a form of solidarity and companionship that can be returned to over a lifetime.

Sara Ahmed is an independent feminist scholar of colour. She worked as a feminist academic for over twenty years before she resigned in protest at the failure of her university to deal with the problem of sexual harassment. She has published ten books, including LIVING A FEMINIST LIFE, described by Bitch as ‘not just an instant classic but an essential read for intersectional feminists’.

The Penguin Book of Feminist Writing

Feminism is the insight that women are oppressed, and the struggle against that oppression. THE PENGUIN BOOK OF FEMINIST WRITING is a global anthology of feminist writers, edited and introduced by a major new essay by Hannah Dawson. It brings together an unprecedented line-up of the movement. It unfurls the diverse and often contradictory ways in which women have written of their pain and exclusion, the strategies they have employed to fight back, and the joy, power, and sisterhood that they have won.

Beginning in the fifteenth century with Christine de Pizan, who imagined a City of Ladies that would serve as a refuge from the harassment of men, the book reaches around the whole earth and through history to us, now, splashing about in the fourth wave. It goes beyond the usual white, Western story, attentive also to class, capitalism and colonialism, and to the other axes of oppression that intersect with sexism. Alongside Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who declared in Seneca Falls in 1848 the self-evident truth ‘that all men and women are created equal’, we find Sojourner Truth, born into slavery in New York in 1797, who asked ‘and ain’t I a woman?’ Drawing on poems, novels and memoirs, as well roaring manifestos, The Penguin Book of Feminist Writing parts the clouds on a vast constellation of feminist classics.

Hannah Dawson is a historian of ideas at King’s College London, and a regular contributor to television, radio and festivals. She wrote books on Hobbes and Locke until her consciousness was raised.


To ensure there is space for you at the event, we strongly recommend booking tickets in advance via Eventbrite. All ticket types offer general admission and unreserved seating.

Solidarity: Paying a little extra helps to fund our concessionary tickets (£8)

Standard: Our standard ticket rate (£6)

Concession: For those on a low income (£4)

We believe that no one should be turned away for lack of funds, and so also offer the promo code ‘feministkilljoy’ which can be entered during checkout to book a free concession ticket. Just enter the code where prompted and add a free concession ticket to your basket.


The Old School Rooms are located on the first floor of Clapton Park United Reformed Church. The room is accessible via steps from the street, with an alternate entrance via lift. Seating will be provided for all attendees.

The speakers will use microphones and a small PA system, and the event audio will be recorded and made available as a podcast.

While we await comprehensive venue accessibility information, please contact us with any specific questions or requests and we’ll be very happy to help.