bell hooks

Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies

bell hooks cannot be reached by phone at Berea College.

Contact bell hooks via the bell hooks Institute:
By mail: bell hooks Institute, 300 Center Street, Berea, KY 40403

At Berea College since 2004


  • B.A., Stanford University, 1973
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1976
  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1983

Papers and Publications

  • Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism (1981, 2nd ed. 2014)
  • All About Love: New Visions (2000)
  • And There We Wept: Poems. (1978)
  • Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place (2012)
  • Art on My Mind: Visual Politics (1995)
  • Be Boy Buzz (2002)
  • Belonging: A Culture of Place (2009)
  • Black Looks: Race and Representation (1992, 2nd ed. 2014)
  • Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood (1996)
  • Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life (1991) (with Cornel West)
  • Communion: The Female Search for Love (2002)
  • Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics (2000, 2nd ed. 2014)
  • Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (1984, 3rd ed. 2014)
  • Grump Groan Growl (2008)
  • Happy to be Nappy (1999)
  • Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism (2006)
  • Homemade Love (2002)
  • Justice: Childhood Love Lessons (2000)
  • Killing Rage: Ending Racism (1995)
  • Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations (1994)
  • Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies (1996)
  • Remembered Rapture: The Writer at Work (1999)
  • Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-esteem (2003)
  • Salvation: Black People and Love (2001)
  • Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-recovery (1993, 2nd ed. 2014)
  • Skin Again (2004)
  • Soul Sister: Women, Friendship, and Fulfillment (2005)
  • Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black (1989, 2nd ed. 2014)
  • Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope (2003)
  • Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom (2010)
  • Teaching to Transgress: Education As the Practice of Freedom (1994)
  • We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity (2004)
  • Where We Stand: Class Matters (2000)
  • The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love (2003)
  • Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life (1997)
  • Writing Beyond Race: Living Theory and Practice (2013)
  • Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics (1990, 2nd ed. 2014)


bell hooks is Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies at Berea College. Born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, she has chosen the lower case pen name bell hooks, based on the names of her mother and grandmother, to emphasize the importance of the substance of her writing as opposed to who she is. She is the author of over thirty books, many of which have focused on issues of social class, race, and gender. Her latest book is titled Belonging: A Culture of Place.

In a special issue of Appalachian Heritage (Summer 2008) on African Americans in Appalachia, bell hooks writes of the values of wildness, of renegade living. She suggests that her own “radical critical consciousness” was learned at home in a Kentucky community of African Americans from the backwoods about the need for freedom and the responsibility that comes with freedom. She concludes:

Living by those values, living with integrity, I am able to return to my native place, to an Appalachia that is no longer silent about its diversity or about the broad sweep of its influence. While I do not claim an identity as Appalachian, I do claim a solidarity, a sense of belonging, that makes me one with the Appalachian past of my ancestors, black, Native American, white, all “people of one blood” who made homeplace in isolated landscapes where they could invent themselves, where they could savor a taste of freedom.