PSU Vanguard Shield Icon

Noted feminist thinker to appear at PSU

bell hooks, Turiya Autry
Peter Scott Center, Main Gym
6:30 p.m.

Prominent feminist thinker bell books speaks tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Scott Center. The presentation, entitled “Ending Violence and what LOVE has to do with it,” is co-sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center and The Rearguard.

The City University of New York professor is one of the most well-known and respected intellectuals on issues of gender, race, teaching and cultural studies, and takes an interdisciplinary post-modern approach to these concerns. Instead of tackling each issue she critiques as separate, she prefers to find the interconnectedness between these ideas of identity and analyze these linkages.

She is the author of several books, including the seminal “Feminist Theory From Margin To Center” (1984), “Ain’t I a Woman” (1981), “Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black” (1989), “Yearning: Race, Gender and Cultural Politics” (1990) and “Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representation” (1994).

Born Gloria Watkins in Hopkinsville, Ky., in 1952, hooks took on her pseudonym as a way to honor her grandmother and mother by taking on their maiden names, as well to provide another medium in which to express her voice.

A highly respected and passionate scholar who received a doctorate from the University of California at Santa Cruz, hooks has also taught at Yale University and Oberlin College, and sees education as a practice of freedom, being greatly influenced by the ideas of Paulo Freire. In “Teaching To Transgress” she views his ideas as affirming her “right as a subject in resistance to define reality,” and adds that “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.”

Recently, however, hooks has shifted from her pointed attacks on issues of sexism and racism to focus on a subject just as important, but often forgotten: love. Her most recent book, “Communion: The Female Search For Love,” theorizes about ideas of feminism in the bedroom, which have often been overlooked in favor of feminism in the boardroom, and seeks to formulate a new thesis for female love identities in a changing world.

Her previous book, “All About Love,” can be seen a precursor to this new work, and was a more autobiographical reflection on conceptions of love from a more spiritual standpoint. Also reading will be local slam poet Turiya Autry.