Lecture by bell hooksGAMBIER, Ohio (October 29, 2009) Feminist social critic and writer bell hooks will discuss "Practical Wisdom: Race, Sex, and Class" on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Bolton Theater.
Gloria Jean Watkins, best known by her pseudonym, bell hooks, is a distinguished professor in residence at Berea College. She has helped redefine feminism as a broad political movement to end all forms of oppression. Feminism, she said, "is a commitment to eradicating the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels ... and a commitment to reorganizing U.S. society so that the self-development of people can take precedence over imperialism, economic expansion, and material desires."
She brings a postmodern perspective to her writing to focus on how race, class, and gender are intertwined and can create and perpetuate systems of repression.
Jan Thomas, associate professor of sociology and director of Women's and Gender Studies, said hooks' "focus on community as a mechanism for working against oppression is especially appropriate for the Kenyon campus."
The work of hooks recently landed her on a list of "100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life" compiled by Utne Reader. The writer and critic has published more than 30 books, has appeared in several documentary films, and has taught at the City College of New York, Oberlin College, University of Southern California, and Yale University. Recent publications include Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity; Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope; Communion: The Female Search for Love; and Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem.
hooks will also conduct an informal discussion about her views on Tuesday at 11:10 a.m. in Philomathesian Hall in Ascension Hall.
The events are co-sponsored by Faculty Lectureships, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Department of Women's and Gender Studies.