On ‘Brick Walls’, ‘Ghosts’, and Other Feminist Dilemmas: Anger, Psychic Institutional Pain and Silencing in Academia

This event is co-sponsored by ARC-GS and the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) team.

Date 14 February 2020
Time 14:00 – 17:00

I am a ‘wounded body stranger’ (Tate and Wahidin 2014) removed from myself so I do not feel psychic pain. However, pain emerges and I use it here drawing from Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals as an analytic frame to explore how as Black women we cope with an imposed silencing from within white feminism whilst maintaining subjective and Black feminist community cohesiveness. I look at psychic institutional pain in UK universities as locations of body and knowledge estrangement drawing on Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark and such pain is seen as both repressive and productive of Black feminist critique. Institutional pain can also be agentic, productive, when we notice that it is rooted in Lorde’s anger. ‘Mi vex’ recognizes the source of vexation, of Black feminist anger-pain, while repeating it as complaint and need for intersectional political action in order to continue to build Black feminist community.

About the lecturer

Shirley Anne Tate is Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada where she is Canada Research Chair Tier 1 designate in Feminism and Intersectionality. She is Honorary Professor, Chair in Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation (CriSHET) at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa and Visiting Professor in CEREN, University of Helsinki and CRED, Leeds Beckett University, UK. Her area of research is Black diaspora studies broadly and her research interests are institutional racism, the body, affect, beauty, ‘race’ performativity and Caribbean decolonial studies while paying attention to the intersections of ‘race’ and gender. She has written widely on these topics.


The event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. The event will be followed by drinks. (location follows soon).

See website here


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.