by Sara Ahmed
The fourth meeting of MATCH was held at the end of January to launch the Working Group into a series of discussions on "Making It Personal," culminating in a Round-Table on "Attitudes, Affects and Alliances in Scholarship" to be held as part of the Temporal Slippages and Spatial Slidings Symposium in Washington DC on February 15th.
In reading Ahmed's Introduction "Getting Into It," we followed up on her invitation to consider how we come to occupy certain spaces and take on certain forms of occupation in response to different "things" which orient us. Those present developed a working list of "things" that seem to have us in their gravitational pull, simultaneously informing our scholarship but with a life and a livelihood outside it.
At times, Ahmed notes, we become formed and directed by dis-orientation and an expulsion from spaces which seem to allow certain bodies to extend and not others. We discussed how such "queerness" launches us on certain trajectories which in turn orient and re-orient us. The idea of objects which move with us became particularly important at this time, occupations which demand that we remain constantly on the move.
In turn, we thought about identity as the inscription of these lines of movement, push and pull, on our bodies and how different things "stick" to us like glue or else slide off us as a result of taking on these identity positions. Without a doubt, scholarship becomes a large gravity well which pull in a lot of our life, but these too can and often does exist either in competition with or in orbit around other "things" which hold a stronger sway on us at this time.