Love, community, and Quakertown: Guidance from bell hooks on teaching counterstories




Hoermann-Elliott, Jackie

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National Council of Teachers of English


As a course assistant to a professor of color at Texas Christian University (TCU), the predominantly white institution where I earned my doctorate, I first encountered bell hooks’s theory of engaged pedagogy as a path toward education as a practice of freedom. Several years later, I found myself reconnecting with hooks’s scholarship in an inverse scenario: as a white faculty member teaching students at a minority-serving institution (MSI) about the historical displacement of people of color in our local community. Intent on teaching this class as justly as possible, I found myself returning to the pages of Teaching to Transgress, Teaching Community, and Bone Black. And after a long semester filled with laughter, playfulness, and much humbling dialogue, I learned of hooks’s passing on December 15, 2021. Although I never met hooks in person, her influence on my antiracist pedagogical development and the discipline at large feels significant as well as unfinished.



Engaged pedagogy, Rhetoric and composition, Liberatory pedagogy


This is the published version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Hoermann-Elliott, J. (2023). Love, community, and Quakertown: Guidance from bell hooks on teaching counterstories. College English, 85(3), 294–311. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.