bell hooks is an acclaimed intellectual, feminist theorist, cultural critic, artist, and writer. hooks has authored over three dozen books and has published works that span several genres, including cultural criticism, personal memoirs, poetry collections, and children's books. Her writings cover topics of gender, race, class, spirituality, teaching, and the significance of media in contemporary culture. 

Born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, bell hooks adopted the pen name of her maternal great-grandmother, a woman known for speaking her mind. hooks received her B.A. from Stanford University, her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her books include, Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope, Where We Stand: Class Matters, and We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity. Please visit from Indiebound and Amazon to purchase bell hooks's books. 

The bell hooks Institute was founded in 2014. 


Tia L. Davis- bell hooks Institute Artist in Residence 2017 

Tia L. Davis

Davis was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. Supported by her family and friends she decided at an early age to pursue a career in the arts. She graduated from Berea College in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, served as an AmeriCorps Kentucky College Coach at Berea Community High school and earned her MFA in Theatre Arts and Certificate in African American Theatre from The University of Louisville.

Over the years she has performed regionally with the Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, Moving in the Spirit, University of Louisville Repertory Company, Kentucky Shakespeare and the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.  She has held teaching positions at the University of Louisville, Berea College, Kentucky Shakespeare, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and The Whitney M. Young Scholars Program. She has held management positions with Atlanta Ballet’s Ailey Camp Atlanta and the University of Louisville Repertory Company.