Remebering bell hooks, 1952-2021

bell hooks, the trailblazing author, feminist, educator, and activist, died today at the age of 69.

hooks, whose given name was Gloria Jean Watkins, based her pen name on great-grandmother Bell Blair Hooks. She chose to style her pen name in all lowercase letter in order to highlight her message, rather than herself. hooks was a major voice in the American (and international) feminism — she pioneered what is not known as intersectional feminism, and wrote about how gender intersects with race, class, and sexuality in books such as And There They Wept and Ain’t I A Woman? Black Women and Feminism. Her formulations are now a key part of the Fourth-Wave Feminist movement.

During her life, hooks authored more than forty books, including essays, poetry, and children’s books. As a cultural critic, she turned her eye to cinema in Reel to Real, wherein she discussed how films impact individuals, especially black female viewers. She also contributed to several documentaries, including My Feminism and BaadAsssss Cinema. You can find all of these titles on or about bell hooks in the AU Library’s Media collection.

Happy Birthday Judi Dench!

by Kevin Yates

Happy Birthday to Judi Dench! 

By Caroline Bonarde Ucci, CC BY 3.0,

Happy birthday to Judi Dench! Born December 9th, 1934, Dench grew up drawn to theatre performance in small-town England. Her achievements include multiple BAFTA nominations and awards and even an Oscar win. She has been in many films and other productions, creating a long resume of theatrical performance. Most recently, her role in the infamous (for better or for worse) movie Cats has placed her back into the spotlight of modern-day Hollywood and even the front page of many memes.  

Dench has a wide variety of performances that appease those looking for a wide variety of films and other productions. She is one of the most prolific British women in Hollywood and the British acting scene. Whether it be her role in the James Bond films or more obscure productions like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, she has a long resume and is a fantastic example of talented actresses. Celebrate women in Hollywood and watch some Judi Dench films from our very own collection.