I’ve heard it ALL now…Students attending Rutgers University in New Jerseynow have the option of taking classes in the arts and exploits of Beyonce Knowles. I Kid you not!…The class ‘Politicizing Beyoncé’ has been offered as part of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. Doctoral student lecturer Kevin Allred who teaches the course explained:
“This isn’t a course about Beyonce’s political engagement or how many times she performed during President Obama’s inauguration weekend,” Allred explained ”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 was inspired to lecture the course following his four semesters as a Women’s Studies 101 instructor where he often found his class debating whether or not the Pop star is a role model for today’s youth. According to the site, course topics include the extent of Beyonce’s control over her own aesthetic, whether her often half-naked body is empowered or stereotypical, and her more racy performances as her alter ego, “Sasha Fierce.”
Though the classroom discussions are not solely limited to Knowles’ image and music, other notable vocalists such as Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and Lady Gaga are also analyzed through their social impact on society.
“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,” Allred added. “When students don’t respond to theory or dense readings, it’s often easier to see things play out in the world around them.”
I can’t say I disagree with him! Would I take the course given the chance? Hmmmm