Skip to main content

Feminist reading group

Azadi (freedom): Feminist works by scholars of colour 

Our aim as a research group is to offer different perspectives across the globe, drawing on academics who acknowledge the breadth of feminist experiences, particularly for women of colour. The series will include a selection of readings, to include academic research papers, books and podcasts, all written by critical feminists and decolonial scholars of colour. The idea is to read work that provokes healthy discussion in reflexive ways. Where possible, we will select readings that are easily/freely available through the Brunel library/online web, or reasonably priced to purchase.

The reading group name ‘Azadi’ is the Urdu word for freedom, inspired by one of Geeta’s favourite Indian writers, Arundhati Roy, and her book ‘Azadi’. Roy talks about the writer having the: ‘…freedom to be as complicated as she wants – to move through worlds, languages, and time, through societies, communities, and politics’ (Roy, 2020: 1). In this way, we encourage fluid conversations that provoke new questions. As we read and engage in discussions throughout the series, we will unravel some of the deep and complicated questions in relation to, for example:

  • To what degree do critical feminist writers of colour have the ‘freedom’ and ‘safety’ to write about and through their lived ‘truths’?
  • What does it mean to write through a critical feminist lens that captures the intersections, nuances and complications of lived experiences?
  • How does this writing challenge some of the power dynamics and dominant feminist discourses?
  • What emotional tolls do feminist scholars of colour embody as part of their research and writing experiences?
  • How can poetry be used to address feminist issues and silences by scholars of colour? 

We expect a kind, safe and respectful discussion during all sessions, and the sessions will open with some simple house-keeping to make this clear. If you have questions, please email Geeta:

Please accept all cookies to view this content. Alternatively view the content on Twitter


We expect a kind and respectful discussion during all sessions so that participants feel safe and encouraged to speak. We hope that you will join in these monthly discussions. 

Dates for 2021

Reading Month 1: 30th September, 2021
Paper: The Scent of Memory: Strangers, Our Own, and Others
Author: Avtar Brah
Source: Feminist Review, No. 61, Snakes and Ladders: Reviewing Feminisms at Century's End (Spring, 1999), pp. 4-26
Led by: Dr Geeta Ludhra
Click here to download the paper.
View the session slides

Reading Month 2: 28th October, 2021
A short pocket-sized book: How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division (2020).
Author: Elif Shafak
Published by: Wellcome collection.
Around £4.50. See How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division: The powerful, pocket-sized manifesto (Welcome collection): Shafak, Elif: 9781788165723: Books
Led by: Dr Geeta Ludhra
You will need to purchase this book.
View the session slides

Reading Month 3: 25th November, 2021
Paper: Embodying diversity: problems and paradoxes for Black feminists
Book: I will also share a book by Sara Ahmed as further reading
Author: Sara Ahmed
Journal: Race Ethnicity and Education
Details: Vol. 12, No. 1, March 2009, 41–52
Led by: Dr Geeta Ludhra
Click here to download the paper. 
View the session slides

NB: There is no reading group session in December 2021.

Dates for 2022

Reading Month 4: 27th January 2022
Paper: Power, Intersectionality and the Politics of Belonging
by Nira Yuval Davis
Led by: Professor Maria Tsouroufli
Click here to download the paper. 
Download the session slides. 

Reading Month 5: 24th February, 2022
Led by: Professor Maria Tsouroufli
Lorde, A. (1984). Sister Outsider. Crossing Press: USA
This should be in the library, or you will need to order a copy. 
Download the session slides. 

Reading Month 6: 31 March 2022
Led by: Dr Giuliana Ferri
Reading TBC. 
Download the session slides. 

Reading Month 7: 28tApril, 2022
Led by: Dr Geeta Ludhra
A paper by Dr Royona Mitra 
Click here to download the paper. 
Download the session slides. 

Reading Month 8: 26 May, 2022
Led by: Dr Ourania Filippakou
Reading by Angela Davis 
I would also like to recommend an interview that A. Davis gave in the New York Times last year. 
Download the session slides. 

Reading Month 9: 30 June, 2022
Lead by Dr Geeta Ludhra
Reading TBC 

Reading Month 10: 28 July, 2022
10 books/podcasts to celebrate South Asian Heritage Month.
Led by: Dr Geeta Ludhra 

There will be no reading group in August as most staff are usually on annual leave. The programme for 2022-23 will be published in August 2022.

Dates for 2023

Thursday 27th October, 4-5.30pm.

Theme: Decolonial Feminism (see pre-readings and slides)
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 921 1447 2139, Passcode: 1234567890

Thursday 23rd February, 4pm. 

Theme: Decolonising Feminism (Part 2/3)
Zoomlink to join: Dr Geeta Ludhra is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Feminist Reading Series Feb 2023
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 974 1640 6352, Passcode: 1234567890 

Please read this research paper as a platform for discussion for Part 2 of the Interculturality Feminist Reading Series for 2023. See session 1 October 2022 paper details if you wish to refer back to what was previously discussed. Have a read of the paper and reflect via the questions below:

  1. What new questions does this paper raise for you?
  2. What connections are you able to make to your lived experiences and knowledge, if any at all?
  3. How does this paper challenge the way you think about 'decolonising feminism', if at all? 

Thursday 25th May, 4-5.30pm. Theme TBC

Meeting ID: 974 1640 6352

Passcode: 1234567890