Hooked on Love


Her name may be lowercase, but bell hooks is an ALL CAPS kind of thinker, writer, poet, teacher, revolutionary. Lucky for Charleston, she's here this weekend to stir our hearts and minds toward rethinking what love really means for us—politically, personally, spiritually, even academically.

"She's one of the most important feminist scholars of the last 30 years," claims Alison Piepmeier, Ph.D., director of CofC's Women's and Gender Studies Program, a main sponsor of hook's visit to campus on Friday at 2 p.m.  But bell hooks is far more than a feminist scholar and author—she's one of those rare writers and intellectuals who defies categories, who spans genres and embraces broad scopes. "She's a truly significant author who has affected virtually every discipline in the humanities and social sciences. For many today, she's the one who turned them on to feminism," Piepmeier adds. Hooks has published more than 30 books, all widely read and widely taught. In Feminism is for Everybody, hooks offers a beautiful, accessible invitation to feminism, rendering it not as "in your face" activism, but an "in your heart" transformation:  

"Imagine living in a world where there is no domination, where females and males are not alike or even always equal, but where a vision of mutuality is the ethos shaping our interaction.  Imagine living in a world where we can all be who we are, a world of peace and possibility....Come closer.  See how feminism can touch and change your life and all our lives.  Come closer and know firsthand what feminist movement is all about.  Come closer and you will see:  feminism is for everybody."


Her work is too all encompassing, too important, really, to adequately summarize in a blog post. The Atlantic Monthly called her one of America's most important thinkers. She's collaborated with two of my most revered rockstars: Thicht Naht Hhan and Wendell Berry. So I'll simply say that if you are in town this weekend, you'd be a fool not to take advantage of one of several opportunities to hear her. Here's the line-up: 

  • She'll be delivering a FREE lecture, open to the public, at the College of Charleston's Sottile Theatre, Friday at 2 p.m., sponsored by the Women's and Gender Studies Program and the Avery Research Center
  • Friday evening, bell hooks will speak on "Love in Action"  6:30 p.m. at the Avery Institute, sponsored by the Sophia Institute, The WGS program and Avery ($25)
  • Saturday the Sophia Institute's program continues with an all-day workshop entitled "Love and Spiritual Healing" (tuition charged).

And for free, I'll offer you this little "hook up" to get you in the mood. From her book of poems, When Angels Speak of Love:


In love

there are no closed doors

each threshold

an invitation

to cross

take hold

take heart

and enter here

at this point

where truth

was once decried