bell hooks (née Gloria Watkins) is among the leading public intellectuals of her generation. Her writings cover a broad range of topics including gender, race, teaching, and contemporary culture.
In this two-part film, extensively illustrated with many of the images under analysis, hooks makes a compelling argument for the transformative power of cultural criticism.
In Part One, she discusses the theoretical foundations and positions that inform her work such as the motives behind representations, as well as their power in social and cultural life. hooks also explains why she insists on using the phrase "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" to describe the interlocking systems of domination that define our reality.
In Part Two, she demonstrates the value of cultural studies in concrete analysis through such subjects as the OJ Simpson case, Madonna, Spike Lee, and Gangsta rap. The aim of cultural analysis, she argues, should be the production of enlightened witnesses—audiences who engaged with the representations of cultural life knowledgeably and vigilantly.
Following the film-screening, multidisciplinary artist Rashaad Newsome joins writer and critic Darnell L. Moore for a conversation on the intersection of race, capitalism, and gender. Using hooks’ framework, they examine popular culture and how art can be used as a means to help viewers understand the politics of difference.
ABOUT RASHAAD NEWSOME
Rashaad Newsome is a multidisciplinary artist whose work blends several practices together including: collage, sculpture, video, music, computer programming and performance, to form an altogether new field. Best known for his visually stunning collages housed in custom frames, Newsome’s work is deeply invested in how images used in media and popular culture communicate distorted notions of power. Using the equalizing force of sampling, he crafts compositions that surprise in their associative potential and walk the tightrope between intersectionality, social practice and abstraction. Newsome’s work opposes cultural essentialisms. They lead us into a realm of uncertainty, in which the symbols presented transform, but are nonetheless made tangible.
Newsome lives and works in New York City. He was born in 1979 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he received a BFA in Art History at Tulane University in 2001. In 2004, he received a certificate of study in Digital Post Production from Film/Video Arts Inc. (NYC). In 2005 he studied MAX/MSP Programming at Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center (NYC). He has exhibited and performed in galleries, museums, institutions, and festivals throughout the world including: The Whitney Museum (NYC), Brooklyn Museum (NYC), MoMAPS1 (NYC), SFMOMA (CA), New Orleans Museum of Art (LA), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France), The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture (Moscow, Russia), and MUSA (Vienna, Austria). Newsome’s work is in numerous public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), The Brooklyn Museum of Art (NYC), The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), and The New Britain Museum of American Art (CT). In 2010 he participated in the Whitney Biennial (NYC), and in 2011 Greater New York at MoMAPS1 (NYC). His many honors and awards for his work include a 2014 Headlands Center for the Arts Visiting Artist Residency, a 2011 The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, a 2010 Urban Artist Initiative Individual Artist Grant, and a 2009 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Visual Arts Grant.
ABOUT DARNELL L. MOORE
Darnell L. Moore is a Senior Correspondent at MicNews, Co-Managing/Editor at The Feminist Wire and writer-in-residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice at Columbia University. Along with NFL player Wade Davis II, he co-founded YOU Belong, a social good company focused on the development of diversity initiatives.
Moore’s advocacy centers on marginal identity, youth development, and other social justice issues in the U.S. and abroad. He is the host of Mic's digital series, The Movement. He has led and participated in several critical dialogues including the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women; the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington National Panel on Race, Discrimination, and Poverty; the 2012 Seminar on Debates on Religion and Sexuality at Harvard Divinity School; and as a member of the first U.S. delegation of LGBTQ leaders to Palestine in 2012.
A prolific writer, Moore has been published in various media outlets including MSNBC, The Guardian, Huffington Post, EBONY, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Gawker, Truth Out, VICE, Guernica, Mondoweiss, Thought Catalog, Good Men Project, and others, as well as numerous academic journals including QED: A Journal in GLBTQ World Making, Women Studies Quarterly, Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media & Technology, Transforming Anthropology, Black Theology: An International Journal, and Harvard Journal of African American Policy, among others. He also edited the art book Nicolaus Schmidt: Astor Place, Broadway, New York: A Universe of Hairdressers (Kerber Verlag) and has published essays in several edited books.
Moore has held positions of Visiting Fellow and Visiting Scholar at Yale Divinity School, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University, and the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. He is presently Writer-in-Residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexuality, and Social Justice at Columbia University. He has taught in the Women and Gender’s Studies and Public Administration Departments at Rutgers University, Fordham University, City College of New York City, and Vassar College. Moore has also provided keynote addresses at Harvard University, Williams College, Stony Brook University, New Jersey City University, Stanford University, and the New School.
Moore received the 2012 Humanitarian Award from the American Conference on Diversity for his advocacy in the City of Newark, where he served as Chair of the LGBTQ Concerns Advisory Commission. He is the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Academic Leadership Award from Rutgers University LGBTQ and Diversity Resource Center for his contributions to developing the Queer Newark Oral History Project. He received the 2013 Angel Award from Gay Men of African Descent and the 2014 Gentleman of the Year Award from the Gentlemen’s Foundation. He was listed as a one of Planned Parenthood’s Top 99 Dream Keepers in 2015, was featured in USA Today’s #InTheirOwnWords multimedia feature on contemporary civil rights activists, and was named among EBONY Magazines' 2015 Power 100 list. He assisted in organizing the Black Lives Matters Ride to Ferguson in the wake of Mike Brown’s tragic murder, and, along with Alicia Garza, Patrisee Cullors, and Opal Tometti (#BlackLivesMatter Co-Founders), developed the infrastructure for the BLM Network.