Kimberly Hoover

  • Part-Time Instructor

Kimberly is a recent Pitt alumni, receiving her PhD in Critical and Cultural Studies this April of 2021. She also received her MA (2016) in English from Montana State and an English/German BA (2013) from the University of Central Oklahoma. Kim has taught composition for 7 years, including emphasis in Gender Studies and Diversity Studies for the last 4. She was awarded the Humanities Engage Fellowship in 2020 to intern at Awaken Pittsburgh, a non-profit that teaches mindfulness to the community; she specifically developed the research to teach courses on racial/gender/orientation biases and trauma-sensitive delivery.

Outside of academia, Kimberly is both a yoga teacher and alternative therapist/reiki practitioner. Her research reflects the intersections of these academic and alternative health interests, the most recent of which includes a critical feminist, decolonial analysis of the US Integrative Medicine system. This research exposes how Integrative Medicine rhetoric that claims to be “feminist,” “accessible,” and “alternative” covertly reinforces the biopolitical dominance of standard medicine, and therefore, the colonial dynamics of a neoliberal economy. Passionate about translating the rigor of academic research into information for the public, she is working to publish this work under the title of “How Medicine is Losing its Spirit.” 

She is also currently publishing another book for the public: “In the Goddess’ Shadow: Uncomfortable Truths about Female Empowerment.” This title diffracts advances (and limits) of academic feminist philosophy against the discourse of spiritual female empowerment circles, showing how these discourses inform, challenge, or even neglect discomforting truths about female empowerment movements. I focus especially on the shadow of female empowerment rhetoric, which is a persistent discursive victimization to faceless abstractions like “the patriarchy.” I argue systemic female empowerment will be predicated upon the end of deferring blame and focusing instead on how to exalt feminine collective consciousness through her own integrated lifestyle, which balances the insights of spiritual and “Earthly” communities.