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Bell Hooks

bell hooks (1952-)

bell hooks (nee Gloria Watkins) is Distinguished Professor of English at City College in New York. Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky in 1952,  hooks, received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1973, her M.A. in 1976 from the University of Wisconsin and her Ph.D. in 1983 from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Although hooks is mainly known as a feminist thinker, her writings cover a broad range of topics on gender, race, teaching and the significance of media for contemporary culture. She strongly believes that these topics cannot be dealt with as separately, but must be understood as being interconnectedness. As an example, she refers to the idea of a "White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy" and its interconnectedness, rather than to its more traditionally separated and component parts.

A passionate scholar, hooks is among the leading public intellectuals of her generation.

hooks/Watson's  use of a pseudonym is intended to honor both her grandmother (whose name she took) and her mother, as well as provide her the opportunity to establish a separate voice from the person Gloria Watson.

hooks, like Paulo Freire, sees education as the practice of freedom. Profoundly influenced by Freire, she sees his ideas as affirming her "right as a subject in resistance to define reality." (Teaching to Trangress , p. 53).

For hooks: "teaching is a performative act... that offers the space for change, invention, spontaneous shifts, that can serve as a catalyst drawing out the unique elements in each classroom." (Ibid, p. 11)

For an interview with hooks see:

bell hooks (Orlo Interview) http://www.teleport.com/~orlo/be4/interview/bellhooks.html

Other useful web sites include:

Pema Chödrön & bell hooks Talk Over Life and All Its Problems http://www.shambhalasun.com/pema.html                                                          

Postmodern Blackness (bell hooks) http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/Articles_Gen/Postmodern_Blackness_ 18270.html                                                      

Those interested in reading hooks' ideas on education and teaching are probably best served by first reading * Teaching to transgress : education as the practice of freedom (1994).

Works by bell hooks

Hooks, Bell. Ain't I a woman : Black women and feminism. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1981.

Hooks, Bell. Feminist theory from margin to center. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1984.

Hooks, Bell. Talking back: thinking feminist, thinking black. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1989.

Hooks, Bell. Talking back: thinking feminist, thinking black. 1st ed. Toronto, Ont., Canada: Between the Lines, 1989.

Hooks, Bell. Yearning: race, gender, and cultural politics. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1990.

Hooks, Bell. Yearning: race, gender, and cultural politics. 1st ed. Toronto, Ont., Canada: Between-the-Lines, 1990.

Hooks, Bell, and Cornel West. Breaking bread: insurgent Black intellectual life . Boston, MA: South End Press, 1991.

Hooks, Bell. Black looks: race and representation. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1992.

Hooks, Bell. Sisters of the yam: black women and self-recovery. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1993.

*Hooks, Bell. Teaching to transgress: education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge, 1994.

Hooks, Bell. Outlaw culture: resisting representations . New York: Routledge, 1994.

Hooks, Bell. Art on my mind: visual politics. New York: New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton, 1995.

Hooks, Bell. Killing rage: ending racism . 1st ed. New York: H. Holt and Co., 1995.

Hooks, Bell. Bone Black: memories of girlhood. 1st ed. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1996.

Hooks, Bell. Reel to real: race, sex, and class at the movies . New York, NY: Routledge, 1996.

Hooks, Bell. Wounds of passion: a writing life. 1st ed. New York: H. Holt, 1997.

Hooks, Bell, and Christopher Raschka. Happy to be nappy. 1st ed. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 1999.

Hooks, Bell. Remembered rapture: the writer at work. 1st ed. New York: Henry Holt, 1999.

Works About bell hooks

Florence, Namulundah. Bell Hooks' engaged pedagogy : a transgressive education for critical consciousness Critical studies in education and culture series. Westport, Conn.: Bergin & Garvey, 1998.

Video Tape

bell hooks: Cultural Criticism & Transformation 

Available from the Media Education Foundation @: http://www.igc.org/mef/enter.html

"In Part One, hooks discusses the theoretical foundations and positions that inform her work, such as the motivated nature of representations, as well as their power in social and cultural life. In Part Two she demonstrates the value of cultural studies in concrete analysis by dealing with subjects such as the OJ Simpson case, Madonna, Spike Lee and Gangsta Rap. The aim of cultural analysis, she argues, should be the production of "enlightened witnesses" - audiences who engage with the epresentations of cultural life with knowledge and vigilance." (Source: Media EducationFoundation website,  above address.)

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