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UK Libraries, A&S Symposium to Honor bell hooks

By MiKayla Carter

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 24, 2022) — Join University of Kentucky Libraries and College of Arts and Sciences 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, via Zoom, for “bell hooks: A Legacy Rooted in Love.”

This symposium will celebrate the life and legacy of bell hooks, UK Libraries' 2021 Medallion for Intellectual Achievement recipient and  author, professor, feminist and activist. 

The event is open to the public. To RSVP for the event, please click here.

Proclaimed as “one of the preeminent feminist voices of our time,” bell hooks was Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies at Berea College up until she died in December 2021. She also taught at the University of Southern California, Yale University, Oberlin College and the City College of New York, publishing more than 30 books of poetry, fiction and critical essays. Her work garnered several prestigious awards, including the American Book Award, an Image Award nomination from the NAACP and a Children’s Book of the Year designation .

Throughout the symposium, scholars, artists and activists from acrossKentucky will present and engage in conversations that celebrate and reflect on hooks’ work and its impact on literature and critical thought. Featured speakers include:

  • Crystal Wilkinson, Kentucky Poet Laureate and UK associate professor of English.
  • Attica Scott, Kentucky State Representative for District 41. 
  • Kaila Adia Story, podcaster and University of Louisville Audre Lorde Endowed Chair in Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
  • DeBraun Thomas, "Take Back Cheapside" co-founder and WUKY producer/host.
  • M. Shadee Malaklou, first director of the bell hooks center and Berea College chair of the Women's and Gender Studies Department. 
  • DaMaris Hill, UK associate professor of creative writing, English, and African American studies.

The UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement was created in 1990 to recognize high intellectual achievement by a Kentuckian who has made a contribution of lasting value to the Commonwealth. The award also promotes education and creative thought. The recipient is determined by majority vote of the UK Libraries National Advisory Board.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.