1. Reflecting back, I find it interesting that I looked around for an object in the
room in which I was writing for inspiration. Many years later, I turned such an
object into my subject: the writing table in Queer Phenomenology (2006). I
began writing about tables as orientation devices in part as I caught sight of
Edmund Husserl’s table in his phenomenological writing. Objects can indeed
become our subject.
2. For further details about the event see Ahmed (1998). In my earlier writing, I
attended to the specificity of the address (the use of Aboriginality to figure
criminality) as well as the conditions under which I received it (the disavowal
of Aboriginality gave me a certain freedom to leave the address behind). I also
explore the question of passing and whiteness (the second policeman asked if
‘‘it’’ was ‘‘just’’ a suntan) in my account of the significance of the event.
3. I have made the decision to adopt the U.S. phrase ‘‘of color’’ in this book, even
though the data I draw on is from Australia and the United Kingdom. I find
this term less problematic than other terms, including the dominant term in
the United Kingdom, which is ‘‘Black and Minority Ethnic’’ or, more recently,
‘‘Black Asian and Minority Ethnic.’’ In policy discourse Black and Minority
Ethnic or Black Asian and Minority Ethnic are usually abbreviated as bme and
bame. I think the abbreviations can work to conceal the ‘‘trouble’’ of race.
I think ‘‘of color’’ works better to include those who are not white (to in-
habit this ‘‘not’’ is shared experience even if we don’t share the same experi-
ences). The terms ‘‘majority/minority’’ in implying quantities (more/less)
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