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bell hooks. Where/How do you identify with her life? For me (dan) it’s: Her academic life Her name change Racism The conservatizing function of higher ed. Lack of a connection theory and practice in higher ed. Hooks Nature of the World.

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bell hooks

  • Where/How do you identify with her life?
  • For me (dan) it’s:
  • Her academic life
  • Her name change
  • Racism
  • The conservatizing function of higher ed.
  • Lack of a connection theory and practice in higher ed.

Hooks Nature of the World

  • The world is marked by oppression and exploitation devaluing—
  • reciprocity, community , and mutuality.
  • “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy”
  • Denial of “connection”(s) (Foss, p. 76)
  • “what we can’t imagine, can’t come to be” (Foss, p. 78)

Definition of Feminism

  • The struggle to end sexist oppression (end of sexist role patterns,
  • domination, and oppression)
  • Attend to systems of domination and inter-relatedness of sex, race,
  • and class oppression

Nature of the Rhetor

  • Those who have the capacity to address the exigence of
  • domination—are critical thinkers or intellectuals
  • “site of radical possibility, a space of resistance—for example black
  • rhetoric and sit-ins and demonstrations: “We may loose five times,
  • and win one,” that’s progress and effective rhetoric of resistance.
  • Adoption of the role of critical thinker or enlightened witness
  • Recommended Reading: The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control,
  • John W. Bowers & et al. (2nd ed.) Waveland Press

Rhetorical Options

  • Designed to intervene in practices of domination
  • Process of decolonization
  • Colonization is conquering of “minds and habits to internalize and
  • accept inherent inferiority”
  • Theory needs to be developed that disrupts and transforms (seven
  • methods)

Rhetorical Options Continued

  • Theory Development:
    • for concrete situations (her sister in Foss. p. 85)
    • in an accessible style of writing—for example Linda Putnam
    • and her visit to MSU-Billings
  • Enactment: live out your beliefs
  • Confession: knowledgeable confessions linked to political world not just narcissistic acts or commodity spectacles
  • Dialogue:
    • concrete counter-examples to test out and hear responses (Einstein’s “think experiments)
    • no censorship in dialogue
    • also dialogue with those who exploit, oppress, and dominate

Rhetorical Options Continued

  • Cultural Criticism:
    • actively enter the terrain of poplar culture
    • television and film
  • Education:
    • serve in decolonization
  • Community Outreach:
    • use of women’s groups
    • minority professors at MSU-Billings

Transformation of Rhetorical Theory

“Designed to disrupt and transform the white supremacist capitalist patriarchal


Purpose for Rhetoric:to facilitate the eradication fo the ideology of domination

Hierarchy:reject it as natural

Ethos:marginal rhetors who produce counterhegemonic discourse derived from their personal experiences

Enactment:not a part of traditional rhetorical repertoire—living in ways that are nondomination

Visual Arts:to imagine (image, dan here) new possibilities and alternatives


“Our freedom is sweet. It will be even

sweeter when we are all


--bell hooks