Recommended reading: “Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom”

Photo of Professor Tanya Velasquez
(Photo from UW Tacoma)

Meaningful reads is a recommended book series commemorating the promotion and tenure of faculty at the University of Washington Tacoma. Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, newly promoted or tenured faculty are invited to share a book with thoughts on why the book was meaningful to their career or life.

It was incredibly hard to choose just one book. I deliberated over others that have more to do with the content I teach…others that created huge shifts in my thinking about race and racism. But ultimately this book makes sense because no matter how much I know or theorize, it doesn’t matter unless I have engaged students who learn to read the word, and read the world (Freire, 1970). hooks offers reflective and critical liberatory practices as an alternative to oppressive schooling. From a black feminist perspective, she tells the truth about race, class and gender and shows us how to envision the classroom as a political space for transgression. The work of bell hooks was the first time I experienced a woman of color who expressed eloquent rage from within the academy. Her ability to agitate and transform still inspires me today.”

Tanya Velasquez, M.A.
School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
Social and Historical Studies Division
Promoted to Senior Lecturer, Spring 2018

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