Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations
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Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  595 ratings  ·  26 reviews
bell hooks, one of America's leading black intellectuals, is also one of our most clear-eyed and penetrating analysts of culture. Outlaw Culture gives us hooks on many of the most important subjects of the contemporary scene, from date rape, censorship, and ideas of race and beauty, to gansta rap, the dilemmas of feminism, and the rise of black intellectuals. Using the mix...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 21st 1994 by Routledge (first published 1994)
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I really didn’t expect this book to be nearly as clear or readable as it turned out to be. The more I think about that, the more it seems to me to be a real indictment of general academic writing – particularly progressive writing that is seeking to provide tools for some kind of liberation of the oppressed. By making what is said utterly incomprehensible to those most in need of those words we are doing them a double disservice. Denying them access even to the puny amount of hope our ideas migh...more
In her introduction, hooks writes about finding herself at home in Cultural Studies ‘where interdisciplinary work [as opposed to the conventional specialised & periodised pedagogy she’d felt so limited by] was encouraged and affirmed’. When white male academics in the US discovered Cultural Studies, it promptly exploded, and became a glorious space where she was free to transgress the boundaries she had always pushed at, and where hoards of students excitedly engaged critically with popular...more
"One has to cultivate the capacity to wait. I think about a culture of domination as being very tied to notions of efficiency- everything running smoothly. I mean, it's so much easier if you tell me, "I'm leaving!" rather than "I desire to leave and not come back- how does that desire impact on you?" and I reply, "Is there a space within which I can have a response?" All this takes more time than the kind of fascism that says, "This is what I'm doing- fuck you!"

Variety of essays and dialogues.....more
This is my first book by bell hooks. It's funny, it dives into all this pop culture stuff from when I was busy dropping out of high school to live a life of a scummy street-punk. So in some ways, it picks up where I left off. bell hooks is amazingly articulate and I love reading this. The essay on censorship from the right and the left is particularly good, pressing us to encourage and welcome dissent and to beware of the tendency to censor or self-censor in the interest of maintaining harmony o...more
Aug 19, 2007 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: theory
This collection of essays schooled me. I learn and grow every time I read bell hooks. I recommend her work for people who want to continue learning about the subtle and not so subtle manifestations of racism and sexism in our culture (US) and in ourselves, and to act to resist and change those patterns.
Fantastic. Bell Hooks vocalizes ideas that have been swirling around my head for the past few years in an eloquent yet understandable way. I found something worthy in each chapter, but her commentary on the following - bourgeoisie notion of privacy, "love ethic", addiction as a cover up for the inability to be alone with one's self, liberal individualism vs communalism - were topics that stuck out to me and that I'm still wrestling with. Many books are mentioned by Hooks in this work, which I am...more
Outlaw Culture is the first book of hooks that I have read, although I've read several of her earlier articles (which I remember enjoying). In OC, I was turned off by her presumptuous declarations about what certain artistic pieces were about. She will spend pages antagonizing a certain thinker/artist/piece of art using harsh and political language without dignifying her evaluation with facts. For instance, she pulverizes Spike Lee for the mere fact that more time in Malcolm X is spent dedicated...more
Dan's Obsessions

Used as a memo, not an actual review
( Damn I wanted to recall it later on , its not my own)

Recommends it for: film crit, Malcolm X bio, African American art, queer representation, Jean-Michel Basquiat
Gotta love bell hooks. Gotta love Routledge. This is a collection of her essays, some previously published in Black Looks, Art Matters and some others that escape me. Overall, a diverse and exceptional selection in terms of topics she addresses and her range of critical acrobatics. The overarching t...more

I basically want to see like bell hooks sees. I want to sound sure of myself like she does. I want to call myself on my own bullshit like she does. I want to sound full of it and wise at the same time. I want to pursue honesty and community and integrity. I want to write in my own vernacular of high low ivory tower vandy girl valley girl mountain girl, whatever, throwing dooders and endeavor into the same sentence and not blinking and being surprised if anyone else does.

Mostly, though, in my...more
Andrew Bishop
Apr 20, 2007 Andrew Bishop rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: film crit, Malcolm X bio, African American art, queer representation, Jean-Michel Basquiat
Gotta love bell hooks. Gotta love Routledge. This is a collection of her essays, some previously published in Black Looks, Art Matters and some others that escape me. Overall, a diverse and exceptional selection in terms of topics she addresses and her range of critical acrobatics. The overarching theme here, if there is just one, is that by and large, there is no satisfactory representation of outlaw cultures. Images of feminist, black and/or queer transgressive movement, more than not, provide...more
I find bell hooks profoundness to be unmatched when it comes to cultural studies. The way she digs in things and analyses them with care and concern, you can tell she spends time mulling over details and their respective affect of cultures. Unlike most intellectuals her work is easy to read and understand. I just wish I could live in her mind for a day.
"bell hooks, one of America's leading black intellectuals, is also on of our most clear-eyed and penetrating analysts of culture. Outlaw culture--the culture of the margin, of women, of the disenfranchised, of racial and other minorities--lies at the hear of bell hook's America. Raising her powerful voice against racism and other forms of opression in the United States, hooks unlocks the politics of representation and the meaning of that politics for and in our lives."
--bell hooks is Distinguish...more
Phillip Rhoades
bell hooks was a name I heard but never approached in my past. I found her essays in this collection both profound and transformative. I never expected to read social critiques that were full of such hope and love. It is from pieces and writers like this that I truly believe that change is possible. We can makes ideas real through action. I also find it immensely rewarding as I travel through these books that so many of the names I respect continie to pop up and be quoted: Zinn, Thich Naht Hahn,...more
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
I liked most of this book. For me, this was not one of bell's strongest. I just finished it the other day and the few essays at the end were engaging, but I recall some of it being less engaging because her critiques were geared around some pop-cultural items I had not read, seen, or heard. That puts me at a disadvantage when trying to understand her critiques of those items. Some of the essays are not as particular and are very well written and give the reader a lot to think about.
Hit or miss essays on pop culture and then some. Too many of these were dated (pop culture in 1993??) and useless for lack of context. A few were full of really great insights, connections between everyday life and intersecting oppressions, race and gender in particular. Left me with little to say.
For some reason I thought this was a tiny book, but this is a sort of mammoth book of essays and I can BARELY keep myself from starting this, but I'm reading so many things already. This looks like a REALLY EXCITING BOOK!!!!
Megan Bénéat-donald
An engaging and informative read on the different faces of racialization - I would recommend this to anyone who hasn't questioned the role of the media in normalizing racism.
4 stars because I haven't read this in years and didn't wanna be a faker... hooks rarely fails to dig in and fuck shit up. I really need to dust this off and let myself be moved.
great! a book of essays and a quick and interesting read. i think i've already forgotten most of it, but this is a book i will probably reread often.
Jun 28, 2008 Lacey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Complicated so far, but intellectually stimulating and definitely interesting. Gender, race, and sexuality are nicely interwoven in this book.
Jafer Martin
I liked the essays about Malcolm X, the Bodyguard. Some smart stuff about representation.
If you're in enough minority groups, there is always something to complain about!
Zahrah Awaleh
If you're in to black cultural studies then this is for you.
Dec 16, 2007 Joy added it
Recommends it for: feminists
bell hooks---what more do I need to say? She's fucking awesome!
Jon Kapp
Electric and fearless. bell hooks is a Champion.
excellent for thinking about pop culture
This a warning to women.
Greyson Peck
Greyson Peck marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2014
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bell hooks (born Gloria Jean Watkins) is an African-American author, feminist, and social activist. Her writing has focused on the interconnectivity of race, class, and gender and their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and domination. She has published over thirty books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films and participated in...more
More about Bell Hooks...
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