Acclaimed author, social critic, and UC Santa Cruz alumna bell hooks will speak on the topic "What's Love Got To Do With It? Ending Domination," on Thursday, May 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Colleges Nine and Ten Multipurpose Room at UC Santa Cruz. Admission is free and the public is invited. UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL THE FALL QUARTER.
hooks (who adopted a lowercase pen name to honor her grandmother), earned her B.A. from Stanford University and received her Ph.D. in literature from UC Santa Cruz in 1983. An outspoken scholar and cultural critic, she has published more than 30 books and numerous articles focusing on the politics of race, class, and gender, and how they produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and domination.
In 1992, a Publishers Weekly poll named her book Ain't I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism-about the impact of sexism and racism on black women-as "one of the twenty most influential women's books of the last twenty years." The Atlantic Monthly has described her as "one of our nation's leading public intellectuals," and Utne Reader called her one of "100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life."
hooks has taught at the University of Southern California, Oberlin College, Yale University, UC Santa Cruz, and as Distinguished Professor of English at the City College of New York. She has appeared in several documentary films, including Give a Damn Again (1995) with Princeton professor and best-selling author Cornel West, with whom she co-wrote the 1991 book Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life.
hooks's visit is being facilitated by Roberta Valdez, director of the Women's Center at UC Santa Cruz. Valdez initiated a reading and discussion group for the campus community last winter quarter that focused on three books written by hooks about love: All About Love: New Visions (2000), Communion: The Female Search for Love (2002), and The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love (2003). UCSC philosophy professor and Stevenson College provost Ellen Suckiel learned of the group and helped Valdez create a UCSC class around the reading group, which was offered during winter quarter and provided students with a survey of hooks's works.
"Our goal in bringing bell hooks back to the campus is to have her be accessible to the many students who have been influenced by her writings," said Valdez. "We are arranging for her to have informal dialogues prior to her lecture with the students who participated in the class last winter."
"Her work is very important because it asks us to examine how we've been socialized and look at the personal decisions we've made in our lives before we go outside to change the world," Valdez added. "Everything she writes about is really all related to the idea of social justice."
This event is sponsored by the UCSC Women's Center, Chicano Latino Resource Center, Stevenson College, the Alumni Association, C.A.R.E., Porter College, Institute for Humanities Research, Film and Digital Media Department, Department of Literature, Feminist Studies Department, and Colleges Nine and Ten. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Seating is limited and there will be an overflow simulcast at College Nine's Namaste Lounge. For more information, call (831) 459-2072.