bell is back

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Topic becomes teacher as hooks returns to UVU

Prominent feminist theorist, professor and author bell hooks will be attending UVU for a third time Sept. 19-21. This time she will help teach a philosophy course for a week which focuses on works by hooks and by French philosopher Michel Foucault.

She is known within academia as articulating the intersectionality of race, class, and gender and how patriarchy affects us all. Hooks also discusses how capitalism is part of a perpetual force which reinscribes issues of racism, sexism and oppression within society.

Mike Shaw, professor of philosophy, and John Christensen, professor of history, coteach the class that hooks will be visiting this semester. Hooks first visited and spoke at UVU in March 2010. Shaw talked about why he thinks hooks has chosen to visit UVU again. “I think she recognizes that Utah has a population that is well-served by her ideas and it’s underrepresented in the mainstream dialogue of the state. It’s very beneficial for her to come here and help create a support network for those kinds of views,” Shaw said.

Jeff Olson, vice president of academic affairs, David Yells, retired dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and current Dean of CHSS Steve Clark, all helped make it possible for hooks to return to UVU along with the request from the philosophy department.

Shaw talked about how he often incorporates hooks’ work into his curriculums such as, Feminism is for Everybody. He also said that even though students have been open to engage with her ideas, there are still issues such as understanding slavery which students in modern times may struggle to relate to.

Julie Parma, philosophy major, talked about the benefits of engaging with hooks work as well as her visit. “I think that the student of UVU benefit any time a prominent academic comes and is willing to work with students. There have been numerous occasions when UVU and specifically CHSS has facilitated student engagement with current academics and guest lecturers and these have been some of the more academically rewarding experiences that I have had as a student here.” They also said how excited they are for hooks to guest lecture. “As for why I think bell hooks keep coming back, I can only speculate. All I can hope is that it is meaningful and worthwhile to her, because we are all enriched and humbled when we read and ponder the truth she speaks.”