Beyonce College Course: Rutgers Creates Class in Her Honor
After Jay-Z was honored with a Georgetown University sociology course named after him, wife and new mom Beyonce has become the subject of a university course of her own. Rutgers University's Department of Women's and Gender Studies now offers the course 'Politicizing Beyonce,' which examines the social and cultural significance of the superstar's music and image.
Rutgers PH.D. candidate Kevin Allred teaches the course and explained on the school's website, "This isn't a course about Beyonce's political engagement or how many times she performed during President Obama's inauguration weekend. She certainly pushes boundaries. While other artists are simply releasing music, she's creating a grand narrative around her life, her career, and her persona."
Allred continued, "It's important to shift students away from simply being consumers of media toward thinking more critically about what they're engaging on a regular basis."
The course description reveals that students will explore the 'Run the World (Girls)' singer's alter ego Sasha Fierce, the extent of her control over her own aesthetic and whether her racy image is a demonstration of female sexual empowerment or complicit with gender stereotypes.
While the course is named for Queen B, she is not the only famous female singer being discussed in the class. Lady Gaga and icons Billie Holiday and Nina Simone will also be examined.
We have to admit, we were tickled when we stumbled upon the slightly facetious article 'Beyonce Songs Re-Imagined as Undergraduate Theses in Women's and Gender Studies' on The Hairpin back in November. The article turned Bey's song titles like 'Cater 2 U' into mock college research papers like 'Female Subservience and the Reinforcement of Hegemonic Gendered Power Structures.' But it looks like Queen B really has had a significant influence on gender politics today!