Sheâs not a teacher, but BeyoncĂ© can teach you something. Or at least thatâs what Kevin Allred, a doctoral student and lecturer in Rutgersâ Department of Womenâs and Gender Studies, Â is betting on with his new course âPoliticizing BeyoncĂ©.â
Wondering how the heck the singer that mused âwho needs a degree when youâre schooling life?â fits into to political curriculum? Â Allred explained to Rutgerâs Focus publication: Â âThis isnât a course about BeyoncĂ©âs political engagement or how many times she performed during President Obamaâs inauguration weekend. Rather, the performerâs music and career are used as lenses to explore American race, gender, and sexual politics.â
During the semester students will examine Beyâs music videos and lyrics alongside works from womenâs rights activists and authors including Alice Walker, Bell Hooks, Toni Morrison and even abolitionist Sojourner Truth. Â Allred will challenge his class to ponder a range of topics, including whether Beyâs racy performances are empowering or stereotypical and the extent of her control over her own aesthetic and her alter ego, Sasha Fierce.
âItâs important to shift students away from simply being consumers of media toward thinking more critically about what theyâre engaging on a regular basis,â Allred said. âWhen students donât respond to theory or dense readings, itâs often easier to see things play out in the world around them.â
Beyâs other half, Jay-Z, has, been the subject of a popular Georgetown University course, “Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z,â taught by Michael Erick Dyson.
At least thatâs one way for the Carters to get into a college classroom.