March 23, 2011 – The University of Utah, in conjunction with the Utah Valley University Honors Program, will welcome renowned author, scholar, cultural critic and social activist, bell hooks, as scholar-in-residence, the week of March 28-April 1, 2011. Known for her passionate thinking and writing, hooks is often identified as one of the nation’s most influential women and leading “public intellectuals.” Her work and writings cover a broad spectrum of topics on gender, race, class, culture, pedagogy and the significance of media for contemporary American and African American cultures. This statewide project is titled, “bell hooks: Critic, Scholar, Educator, and Philosopher.”
On March 30, hooks will offer a keynote address in a special event, “An Evening with Dr. bell hooks” at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah at 7:30 p.m. The event is free; however tickets are required and may be obtained from the box office at Kingsbury Hall, www.kingsburyhall.org, or by calling 801-581-7100. hooks will also speak at Utah Valley University’s Ragan Theatre, Friday, April 1 at 12:00 p.m. The address is general admission seating. Both addresses are open to the public and will be followed by question and answer sessions.
“bell hooks is a major scholar whose work is read by many students in a variety of disciplines,” said Wilfred Samuels, professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah. “She is a cultural, feminist, film and pedagogical critic who will bring communities together, from Utah County to Ogden, in what many are also expecting to be a highly spiritual moment, given hooks’ philosophy on love. We have been trying to bring her to the university for over a decade and are excited to have finally succeeded.”
Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, hooks is a distinguished professor in residence at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. She received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1973, an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 1976 and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1983. She has served as a professor of English at Yale University and a distinguished professor of English at City College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
hooks is the author of more than 30 books. As the Boston Globe and Mail aptly encourages, “Pay attention to bell hooks. The American writer and cultural critic is becoming a household word … hooks’ writing typically inspires, enlightens, and provokes. She is an academic wild card, the brilliant feminist whose sharp mind can slice the latest scholarly shibboleth.” The Utne Reader names hooks as one of the “100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life.”
In the last 10 years the University of Utah has sponsored several major international conferences on ethnic diversity and cultures. In 2009 an international conference was hosted as part of the global celebration of Richard Wright’s centennial anniversary. In 2010 the 4th annual Critical Race Studies in Education Conference attracted national scholars to Utah. In presenting “bell hooks: Critic, Scholar, Educator, and Philosopher,” the U again celebrates the importance of America’s rich and diverse cultures and voices.
“bell hooks: Critic, Scholar, Educator, and Philosopher” is presented in conjunction with the Utah Valley University Honors Program. University of Utah co-sponsors include: the College of Humanities, the College of Education, the Office for Equity and Diversity, Kingsbury Hall, the department of Communication, department of English, the Women’ Resource Center, the Gender Studies program, the Honors College, ASUU, the 2011 Women’s Week Committee, the Ethnic Studies program, Voices of Diversity and the offices of the President, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Student Affairs. Additional sponsors include the Utah Humanities Council and the Tanner Humanities Center. For more information please visit: www.diversity.utah.edu.