In my ‘Problems and Issues in Feminist Theory’ graduate course in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, my professor assigned a new release in feminist and queer theory called Living a Feminist Life by independent scholar Sara Ahmed. Reading the book, I laughed, cried, and underlined more than any other academic book. I had never felt so seen in a book, and the accessibility but depth of the concepts in the book were mesmerizing.

The Humanities Moment came when the class came together to discuss the book – all of us had the same response to the book. My professor asked us to be vulnerable and share some intimate moments in our lives while weaving academic theory and lived experience. In this space we shared the laughs, tears, and validated each other’s experiences of moving and living in this world as someone assigned female at birth, committed to feminism, and navigating academia.

The end of the book shares a resource called the “Feminist Killjoy Toolkit” and it encourages readers to build their toolkit, which includes your other Humanities Moments that are important to you and keep them in your back pocket. To use, learn from, lean on, and rest with. We all created our own toolkits and I’ve carried it with me throughout graduate school. The intellectual and feminist community and solidarity I felt in the classroom that day, connecting over this book and the shared experiences it spoke to and brought forth, also stays with me.

– A.F. Lewis (Ph.D. Candidate)