Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations

Overview

According to the Washington Post, no one who cares about contemporary African-American cultures can ignore bell hooks' electrifying feminist explorations. Targeting cultural icons as diverse as Madonna and Spike Lee, Outlaw Culture presents a collection of essays that pulls no punches. As hooks herself notes, interrogations of popular culture can be a 'powerful site for intervention,
challenge and change'. And intervene, challenge and change is...

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Overview

According to the Washington Post, no one who cares about contemporary African-American cultures can ignore bell hooks' electrifying feminist explorations. Targeting cultural icons as diverse as Madonna and Spike Lee, Outlaw Culture presents a collection of essays that pulls no punches. As hooks herself notes, interrogations of popular culture can be a 'powerful site for intervention,
challenge and change'. And intervene, challenge and change is what hooks does best.

Here, one of the most clear-eyed and penetrating analysts of culture and a powerful voice against oppression discusses subjects including date rape, censorship, gangsta rap, and the rise of black intellectuals. Using a mix of essays and the personal dialogues for which she is known, hooks takes on Spike Lee, Naomi Wolf, and others, as she affirms a vision of intellectual and political engagement.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'[hooks] made a choice to write for the largest possible audience, to change the greatest number of lives.' - Times Higher Education Supplement

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Turning from teaching to topical subjects like gangsta rap, censorship, date rape and Hollywood cinema, these 21 essays will enhance City College professor and political activist hooks's (Black Looks) reputation as an astute, vigorous and freewheeling critic on matters of race, class and gender. The underlying focus in many of these short, occasional pieces (many are reprinted from magazines like Spin and Art in America) is on how some groups, particularly women of color, are marginalized both in daily life and in the cultural wars over media representations and the academic curriculum. Memorable essays touch on questions of censorship inside and outside the academy, the dearth of feminist perspectives on Malcolm X, the impact of commodity culture on political debate and the shortcomings of mainstream gender theorists Camille Paglia, Naomi Wolf and Kate Roiphe. Though formulaic at times, hooks's critical style is refreshingly brash and accessible and often inflected by personal experience. Readers may contest her politics, yet few will be unmoved by the spirit that animates these essays: a desire to rethink cultural institutions that sustain racism, sexism and other systems of political oppression. (Dec.)
Library Journal
This latest collection of hooks's (Sisters of the Yam, LJ 8/93) essays does not make for comfortable reading-nor is it meant to. Cogent essays on patriarchy, violence, and racism demand that the reader reexamine familiar assumptions. The author insists that white feminists recognize that the female experience varies greatly and that class and race must therefore be used as categories of analysis. In several essays, including one on Malcolm X, she offers a feminist perspective on the position of black men in society and their attitudes toward black women. In critiques of Camille Paglia, Katie Roiphe, and Naomi Wolf, hooks describes them all as hankering back to a prefeminist time. Other essays include a discussion of violence, the myth of Columbus, and the portrayal of blacks on film. Highly recommended for collections on feminism, gender, and race.-Sharon Firestone, Ross-Blakley Law Lib., Arizona State Univ., Tempe
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415389587
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Series: Routledge Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 524,971
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

bell hooks (b. 1951) is mainly known as a feminist thinker, although her writings cover a broad range of topics on gender, race, teaching and the significance of media for contemporary culture. She is Distinguished Professor of English at City College in New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Heartbeat of Cultural Revolution 1. Power to the Pussy - We Don't Wannabe Dicks in Drag 2. Altars of Sacrifice - Re-Membering Basquiat 3. What's Passion Got to Do with It ? An Interview with Marie-France Alderman 4. Seduction and Betrayal - The Crying Game Meets The Bodyguard 5. Censorship from Left and Right 6. Talking Sex - Beyond the Patriarchal Phallic Imaginary 7. Camille Paglia - 'Black' Pagan or White Colonizer 8. Dissident Heat - Fire with Fire 9. Katie Roiphe - A Little Feminist Excess Goes a Long Way 10. Seduced by Violence No More 11. Gangsta Culture - Sexism and Misogyny - Who Will Take the Rap 12. Ice Cube Culture - A Shared Passion for Speaking Truth 13. Spending Culture - Marketing the Black Underclass 14. Spike Lee Doing Malcolm X - Denying Black Pain 15. Seeing and Making Culture - Representing the Poor 16. Back to Black - Ending Internalized Racism 17. Malcolm X - The Longed-For Feminist Manhood 18. Columbus - Gone but Not Forgotten 19. Moving into and beyond Feminism - Just for the Joy of It 20. Love as the Practice of Freedom
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