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APSU to host bell hooks Educational Symposium Sept. 5-7

By: Ethan Steinquest August 29, 2023

bell hooks.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - As part of an ongoing effort to create an inclusive community and provide dynamic programs and events, Austin Peay State University (APSU) will host a three-day bell hooks Educational Symposium from Sept. 5-7.

Gloria Jean Watkins, better known by her pen name bell hooks, was an author, educator and activist known for deepening the public discourse surrounding race, feminism and social class. Some of her most notable works include “Ain't I a Woman?” Black Women and Feminism,” “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center” and “All About Love: New Visions.”

To honor her legacy, the symposium will feature remarks from her family and friends, presentations from students she influenced and a faculty panel discussion on her lasting impact.

See below for the full schedule and more information on each event, and RSVP here.

saved by the bell – 1-2:30 p.m. Sept. 5 @ Morgan University Center’s Einstein Bros. Bagels

bell hooks embraced difficult conversations about race, feminism and social issues in her work – and APSU’s Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance has created a space to speak freely on those topics. Students will share poetry, prose, essays and more to express themselves while honoring hooks’s legacy.

All About Love – 5-7 p.m. Sept. 6 @ 416 College St.

Family and friends of bell hooks will share personal stories about her life and work and participate in a Q&A session. Speakers include hooks’s sisters Gwenda Watkins-Motley and Dr. Valerie Watkins, hooks’s longtime friend Francene Gilmer and human rights advocate Idalia Luna.

APSU’s African American Studies Program, Eriksson College of Education, Department of Political Science and Public Management, Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Office of Institutional Culture partnered to organize the event. Free food and giveaways will be available for participants.

Featured Faculty Scholars – 1-2:30 p.m. Sept. 7 @ Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center

Eboné Amos, an assistant professor in the African American Studies Program, will moderate a faculty panel discussion on how studying bell hooks can impact the classroom and the community. Refreshments will be served.

Panelists include: Dr. Charles Gonzales, Eriksson College of Education; Dr. Jessica Blake, College of Arts and Letters; Dr. Paula White, Women’s and Gender Studies Program; and Dr. Raymond Deeren, College of Arts and Letters.