Becca Warzer FP
Return to Feminist Praxis
In the first paragraph, bell hooks poses the question, "What does it mean to enjoy reading Beloved, admire Schooldaze, and have a theoretical interest in post-structuralist theory?" She describes how the thread linking these diverse interests is oppositional political struggle, and even more excitingly, she suggests that the practice itself of having diverse interests locates oneself within liminal boundary spaces where one can "transgress", "move 'out of one's place'", and "push against oppressive boundaries". Thus, "reading Beloved, admir[ing] Schooldaze, and hav[ing] a theoretical interest in post-structuralist theory" becomes a "defiant political gesture".
"That revolutionary effort which seeks to create space where there is unlimited access to the pleasure and power of knowing" reminds me of how we talked about being generous; using the space you take up to create space for others.
It's interesting to consider the role of an "academic" writing style in politically radical texts. bell hooks describes the language she uses in her essay as "the language that enabled me to attend graduate school, to write a dissertation, to speak at job interviews". And yet we know from Isabelle Stengers that Science (generalized to academia) is, and has been, a very powerful colonizing force. I wonder what it means to, as bell hooks quotes Adrienne Rich, "use the oppressor's language".