why “transgressing boundaries”?

The phrase “transgressing boundaries” comes from one of my two favorite feminists, bell hooks. bell hooks is a Black, American, feminist, educator who writes about sexism, racism, popular culture, teaching, and other things that are super important and right up my alley.

In her book entitled Teaching to Transgress, she talks about how education should be a practice of empowerment and freedom, even though it so often isn’t. I first read this book in a Logic course during my undergraduate career (about 8 years ago), but it has stuck with me.

I want my teaching to help students transgress boundaries, to show them that they do not have to conform to the expectations society has placed on them. I want my life to transgress boundaries as I encounter the unfamiliar. I want to transgress boundaries of hierarchies, of gender binaries, of geographic and cultural borders, of social expectations. But I also want these transgressions to be empowering… to myself and to those around me.

So that is why this blog is named as it is. This is a place for me (and you!) to explore boundaries and then to ask questions about how to transgress them and what might be gained by doing so.

I think it might be time for me to reread this book.

PS: My other favorite feminist is Judith Butler… whose work is very very different from bell hooks’ work. Perhaps I will one day explore my journey of transgressing the boundaries between their two bodies of work.

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3 Responses to why “transgressing boundaries”?

  1. It seems like a huge oversight in my life that I have yet to read either Judith Butler or bell hooks. At least an entire book by either of them. If I do choose to do so, which I certainly hope will be the case, it might help heighten the experience for me to discuss them with you. That’s how I learn best.

  2. tracylhawkins says:

    Yes, it would be wonderful for you to read some from them. I recommend Gender Trouble by Judith Butler (although be prepared to read each sentence 4-5 times) and Feminist Theory by bell hooks (much easier to read, and definitely some profundity). I’d love to know your thoughts on them.

  3. Lindsay says:

    Welcome, again, to the blogosphere! 🙂 I’m so glad you’re back.

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