Review of The Promise of Happiness, by Sara Ahmed

Natarajan, Vani M.

Sara Ahmed asks readers a provocative question: “Do we consent to happiness? And what are we consenting to, if or when we consent to happiness?” Ahmed takes on the elusive topic of happiness not to define it, but to look at how it works. Amazingly, this book does not get trapped in abstraction. Sara Ahmed approaches her critique of happiness with explicitly feminist, anti-racist, and queer analysis, always attentive to the historical moment in which she’s writing. She moves through what she calls an “archive of happiness,” comprised of novels, philosophical treatises, films, utopian proposals, and dystopian visions that all deal in some way with happiness.



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Barnard Library and Academic Information Services
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September 6, 2011