Sunday, January 21, 2007

bell hooks: Cultural Criticism & Transformation

These YouTube links were posted on a forum that I go to fairly regularly.

It's a great talk recorded in 1996 with a great American intellectual, Gloria Jean Watkins, who is commonly known by her pen name: bell hooks.

I really like that she's discussing the images of race in pop culture because so many people want to deny what's right in front of our faces. I'm particularly moved by her honesty because to deny the reality of what she's observed in pop culture related to race is truly a sin.

It goes for about one hour and please be warned that at times there is strong language from the interview and film clips.

You might not agree with all of her assessments, but I found myself nodding many times during her discussion of various aspects of pop culture.

bell hooks: Cultural Criticism and Transformation:

  • Part One: 9:23
    • Why Study Popular Culture?
    • Critical Thinking As Transformation
    • The Power of Representation
  • Part Two: 8:40
    • Motivated Representation
    • An Example of Motivated Representation: Leaving Las Vegas and the Backlash Against Feminism
    • Why "White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy?"
  • Part Three: 6:36
    • Enlightened Witness (literacy)
    • Constructed Narrative (Hoop Dreams)
  • Part Four: 6:21
    • Dealing with O.J.
  • Part Five: 5:43
    • Madonna: From Feminism to Patriarchy
  • Part Six: 6:07
    • Spike Lee: Hollywood's Fall-Guy
  • Part Seven: 5:48
    • The voyeur's Gaze - warning this is very graphic due to scenes from the movie, Kids.
  • Part Eight: 9:58
    • Rap: Authentic Representation or Market Construct

Sphere: Related Content


  1. Hi there,

    I was just reading your blogpost about bell hooks and I am trying to access part 7 of the interview, but it seems that YouTube found something offensive in it.

    Do you maybe have a copy of it somewhere? I am doing a study on whiteness and she is very interesting for the argument of counter-whiteness.

  2. Not really. I was just sharing something I thought was interesting.

    Your best bet might be to go to YouTube and ask the person who posted the recording. Also, bell is a professor. I'm not sure where now though. Find her and ask if she knows where you can find it. Good luck.


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