Critical Perspectives on Bell Hooks


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About the Author

Maria Del Guadalupe Davidson is Assistant Professor of African and African-American Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

George Yancy teaches in the Philosophy Department at Duquesne University.


As is the case with the other books in his series, Michael Apple (John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison) writes the sole letter of support:

As you know, bell hooks has become one of the most widely read critical writers in critical education, cultural studies, race and gender, and a number of other areas. The book that Maria del Guadalupe Davidson and George Yancy are proposing, Rocks, Margins, Looks: Critical Perspectives on bell hooks, promises to be a serious and thoughtful volume. It situates bell hooks and her work into a larger context and analyzes her many contributions to a variety of areas, including education.

There are a few other books that reflect on bell hooks in specific areas. But no single volume has the breadth of Rocks, Margins, Looks: Critical Perspectives on bell hooks. By focusing on the range of hook's work, a much more comprehensive understanding of her significance is made available to her many readers. Davidson and Yancy have put together quite an interesting array of authors, many of whom are already well known for their thoughtful work. Davidson and Yancy are both good writers themselves. Thus, their own material will be well organized and well done.

The book will have a wide readership in education, women's studies, critical race and ethnic studies, and other areas where hooks has made significant interventions.

Furthermore, since hooks is a Routledge author, it is more than a little appropriate that this book be published by Routledge.

I recommend that Davidson and Yancy be given a contract in Critical Social Thought and look forward to working with them on what looks to be a fine book.

However, before writing his letter of support, he had two colleagues review:

Bic Ngo, University of Minnesota (in the area of ethnic studies and cultural studies in education):

"I've had the chance to take a look at the proposal, and think it's a wonderful book idea. It is definitely broad in scope, and will reach more than the education audience. I believe though, that the sections/chapters on race, gender, spirituality/love will speak to educators whose work and thinking are interdisciplinary in nature--as does hooks' work in general. From what I know of your series, it seems to also be very interdisciplinary. I like the editors' intentions that "the text is also designed to target those who are not associated with academia proper." The fact that the section on critical pedagogy has the most chapters (7) makes me less worried about a "fit" with your series. However, I wonder if it might be helpful for you to ask about the editors' rationale for the sequencing of the sections of the book, and why it made sense for them to put education as the fourth and last section."

Wayne Au, California State University-Fullerton (a co-editor for the International Handbook of Critical Education):

"I read through the book proposal.... I think it is a good proposal. It is a little different than the books you usually have in your series, but it will appeal to a wide range of folks across several disciplines. The chapters seem to be fairly strong in terms of orientation, and I think that basically anyone in Black Studies or anyone in education, women's studies, and cultural studies who deal substantively with issues of race, will find this book useful. I agree with you in terms of it being post-ey, but I'm generally in favor of being epistemologically diverse, particularly when it comes to things so focused on critical race issues. So I would say go for it."

"Critical Reflections on bell hooks is a powerful tribute to a living pedagogy that courageously unearths the destructive ideologies of oppression and human suffering, in an effort to fully embody the vitality of our human possibilities. These critically raw and heartfelt essays not only illuminate the genius of bell hooks, but also paint a vivid portrait of the ways in which our lives must serve as the entrance to political consciousness and the key to decolonizing our world." --Antonia Darder, Professor of Educational Policy Studies and Latino/a Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

"Davidson and Yancy have pulled together an impressive array of scholars from around the globe who declare--in vivid and compelling fashion--the importance of bell hooks' work. Hooks' views on critical pedagogy and praxis, the dynamics of race and gender, and the need for holistic healing spiritually and culturally make her an intellectual phenomenon. Critical Perspectives on bell hooks is a must read." --Carol E. Henderson, Associate Director and Professor of Black American Studies and Associate Professor of English, University of Delaware