Beyonce Knowles-Carter is among one of the most talked about, picked apart, and scrutinized celebrities of our time – from her music, her fashion, how she does mommyhood, her best-selling and most overtly sexualized album thus far, and her own personal politics.
Along with the release of her self-titled album, Beyonce, came this renewed public conversation about feminism. Is she a feminist or ain’t she? Do her lyrics and visuals sexually empower women or do otherwise?
Beyonce may have sparked this conversation herself through her song/video for “***Flawless,” which featured famed Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, as well as the overt sexuality on display visually and lyrically as a central theme for her new album. (Surfboard, anyone?)
Rutgers University is offering the “Politicizing Beyonce” course through its Department of Women and Gender Studies. Beyonce’s lyrics and music videos, along with published texts from Black feminist authors, will be used to critically analyze the complexity of race, gender, and sexual politics in America.
Course creator Kevin Allred is quoted as saying: “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.”
Although the “Politicizing Beyonce” course has been in existence since 2010, since the release of her new album, it is safe to say that interest in the course has skyrocketed!
Mrs. Carter isn’t the only person in the family to inspire a collegiate course. Georgetown University offers a course entitled “The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z,” focusing on the life and musical works of Mr. Carter.