Professor Sara Ahmed, Goldsmiths
A Willfulness Archive
Wednesday 11 May, 2pm – 5pm
Room W007, Main Geography Building
A willfulness archive is what we assemble when we ‘follow willfulness around’, tracking where willfulness goes, and ‘in what’ or ‘in whom it is found. We can learn from it is found. We can learn from these archives how willfulness is deposited in certain places, which allows the willful subject to appear as a figure, one who has certain qualities and attributes. 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.
Willfulness offers a moral diagnosis of character, as well a healthy diagnosis (the willful subject comprises the health of an organised body).
Willfulness has also been thought of as a relation of part to whole: the willful part is the one who does not will the preservation or happiness of the whole. The paper suggests that a willfulness archive is an archive of rebellion.
Alongside Professor Ahmed’s seminar, Paul Harrison (Geography, CMH affiliate) will present a paper titled ‘The Broken Thread: On Being Still’.