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Ways of seeing are changing…. Nurturing you to develop a ‘critical eye’ Seeing difference Experiencing flashes of difference Seeing the possibility of entering a ‘dialogue’ with something you see/read Politics of seeing. Teaching you to read critically… . Significance What is it about?
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Ways of seeing are changing… • Nurturing you to develop a ‘critical eye’ • Seeing difference • Experiencing flashes of difference • Seeing the possibility of entering a ‘dialogue’ with something you see/read • Politics of seeing
Teaching you to read critically… • Significance • What is it about? • Highlight a line • What are some key terms/words that the article uses? • What are some key notes/quotes to remember from it? • Extra notes?
bell hooks In retrospect
bell hooks’s background • Intellectual and scholar • Awareness of oneself and society • Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Sept. 25, 1952 as Gloria Watkins • Segregated black world of her childhood • B.A. (Stanford), M.A. (Wisconsin), Ph.D (California) • By changing her name, she was able to reclaim her voice and identity
Video – Cultural Criticism & Transformation • Making us aware of the POWER behind popular culture • See how manipulation is at work • She encourages us to be “enlightened witnesses” and to be “critically vigilant” • Gift of critical thinking
Acts of Interventions • hooks pulls from her self-position as a black woman to not only examine the politics of difference, but also to analyze black women’s current situation in the social hierarchy. • Her cultural criticism, hopefully, can provide a ‘flash’ of enlightenment • This enlightenment will bring cultural awareness to her readers
“There must be a revolution in the way we see, the way we look. Such a revolution would necessarily begin with diverse programs of critical education that would stimulate collective awareness that the creation and public sharing of art is essential to any practice of freedom” (4) From “Art on my Mind”
Agency • Power • How is agency used? • Who has access to it? Who does not? How might we acquire it? • Literacy will bring agency
“Art on my Mind” • Accessibility • Absence of representation • “Representation is a crucial location of struggle for any exploited and oppressed people asserting subjectivity and decolonization of the mind” (3)
“Art Matters” • “The system of white-supremacist capitalist patriarch is not maintained solely by white folks. It is also maintained by all the rest of us who internalize and enforce the values of the regime” (xii) • Her “response” • “emerged as a response” (xiv)
What is hooks hoping to accomplish? “It is my hope that the essays included here will, in conjunction with the work of other progressive critics, stand as acts of critical resistance that actively introduce change within existing visual politics. As we critically imagine new ways to think and write about visual art, as we make spaces for dialogue across boundaries, we engage a process of cultural transformation that will ultimately create a revolution in vision” (xvi)
Art on her mind? • “Paintings and poems are moments, capturing or seducing us, when we are so vulnerable. These images are metaphors. This is my life, how I see and, therefore, am able to speak. Praise the spirits and the stars that there are others among us who allow us visions that we may converse with one another” (7)
- www.allaboutbell.com- “The heart of intellectual work is critical engagement with ideas” – Killing Rage (1995) Other sources…
Week II Title • hooks’s voice in both her film and her essay demonstrates how language is a reflection of identity politics • In hooks’s work, the empowerment of black individuals is one of her primary concerns
Liberation & Freedom • hooks’s article encourages her readers to view art in a new light. She advocates “creating collective awareness of the radical place that art occupies within the freedom struggle and of the way in which experiencing art can enhance our understanding of what it means to live as free subjects in an unfree world” (9).
Judith Thompson – Questions to ponder • Any cross-over from hooks? • How does Thompson’s self-identity influence her art? • For Thompson, how is language empowering?