What I’m Reading Now

Jan 13, 2013 | Sounds and Sources

Ahmed, Sara. On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. Durham: Duke University Press, 2012.

Amazon description: “What does diversity do? What are we doing when we use the language of diversity? Sara Ahmed offers an account of the diversity world based on interviews with diversity practitioners in higher education, as well as her own experience of doing diversity work. Diversity is an ordinary, even unremarkable, feature of institutional life. Yet diversity practitioners often experience institutions as resistant to their work, as captured through their use of the metaphor of the “brick wall.” On Being Included offers an explanation of this apparent paradox. It explores the gap between symbolic commitments to diversity and the experience of those who embody diversity. Commitments to diversity are understood as “non-performatives” that do not bring about what they name. The book provides an account of institutional whiteness and shows how racism can be obscured by the institutionalization of diversity. Diversity is used as evidence that institutions do not have a problem with racism. On Being Included offers a critique of what happens when diversity is offered as a solution. It also shows how diversity workers generate knowledge of institutions in attempting to transform them.”


  1. Marc Stevens
    September 3, 2016

    hi Monica,

    I attended your talk about “Lessons learned from 40 Years of Orchestra Fellowships” at the League of American Orchestras conference.

    I made a note that your formal report on this was due out in August. Could you point me to a link for it please, or did I dream that?

    thanks in advance,
    Marc Stevens

    • Monica
      September 6, 2016

      Hi Marc! Nick and I completed the proofing process and we hear that the League will be posting the final report on their website this month. I don’t have a specific date but that occasion will warrant a new post on this site as well! Stay Tuned!


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