Building Communities of Resistance: bell hooks’ Life, Work, and Impact

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
College English

Call for Proposals

Theme Issue of College English:

Building Communities of Resistance: bell hooks’ Life, Work, and Impact


When we talk about that which will sustain and nurture our spiritual growth as a people, we must once again talk about the importance of community. For one of the most vital ways we sustain ourselves is by building communities of resistance, places where we know we are not alone.

—bell hooks
Yearning: Race, Gender, and
Cultural Politics, 1999 (p. 213) 

The incoming editors of College English seek proposals for a theme issue of the journal to be published in January 2023, Building Communities of Resistance: bell hooks’ Life, Work, and Impact. We invite authors to submit works examining hooks’ writing, activism, and pedagogy.

In addition to recognizing hooks’ powerful legacy, this theme issue seeks to examine her impact on individuals, programs, and communities within the field of English studies. In celebration of hooks’ work as an academic scholar and theorist, teacher, storyteller, poet, essayist, children’s book author, cultural critic, public intellectual, and activist, we encourage authors from across the discipline—literature, composition-rhetoric, linguistics, creative writing, English education, professional and technical writing, digital media, film, cultural studies, and so on—to contribute to this theme issue.

We are especially interested in works that address the transformative nature of hooks’ work and that recognize the university as a powerful site for “meaningful radical political work” (hooks, Talking Back, 104). We seek submissions from a diverse range of English studies scholars examining how hooks’ work speaks to us as students, teachers, researchers, authors, individuals, and activists. Submissions to this theme issue might consider how we can achieve hooks’ vision of education as the practice of freedom, how her work can help us to dismantle structures of domination in our English departments, universities, and professional organizations—racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, transphobia, classism, etc. Authors might consider submitting works that address how we can create courses and academic programs that are shaped by hope, love, “risk and daring” (Talking Back 151) or works that demonstrate how to build new sites of “critical resistance” (Yearning 3) in the academy.

We invite works that consider hooks’ research, theories, and practices, including her approach to:

  • Educational inequity
  • Intersectionality
  • Antiracist pedagogy
  • Black feminism
  • Social activism
  • Gender/sexuality
  • Race
  • Class
  • Homeplace/location
  • Transgressions
  • Embodiment
  • Memory
  • Poetry
  • Storytelling
  • Writing
  • Media representations
  • Literacy
  • History
  • Aesthetics
  • Language and power
  • Culture/cultural criticism
  • Etc.

We are seeking:

  • Article-length works (7,500 words)
  • Autoethnographies or personal essays (2,000–4,000 words)
  • Retrospective or prospective analyses (2,000–4,000 words)
  • Bibliographic essays that trace a significant theory, idea, or approach throughout hooks’ work (2,000–4,000 words)
  • Personal reminisces (300 words)
  • Poems (100–500 words)
  • Black and white photomontages, line art, or other visual tributes to hooks and her legacy*

All submissions will undergo peer review prior to formal acceptance in this issue.

Proposals should identify the intended topic, focus, and genre of the submission and briefly describe the author’s method or approach. Proposals should be no longer than 500 words, exclusive of the bibliography. Please email proposals to with the subject line “bell hooks Issue.”

Publication Timeline

Deadline for proposals: March 1, 2022

Initial acceptances sent: March 15-20, 2022

Completed manuscripts due for peer review: June 1, 2022

Feedback sent to authors: July 1, 2022

Revised works due: October 1, 2022

Theme issue published: mid-January 2023

*contributors submitting artwork or other visual tributes will need to attain any necessary consents or rights for photos or other copyrighted materials.

All prospective authors should review Anti-Racist Scholarly Reviewing Practices: A Heuristic for Editors, Reviewers, and Authorsprior to submitting articles, reviews, or proposals to College English.