Schoolin' Life

01.29.14

Queen Bey 101

Rutgers offers women studies course politicizing Beyonce's tunes.

If you're a Rutgers student, you now can an A in Beyonce (or a B for that matter) Or just get schooled in all things B. The university recently listed a new class, "Politicizing Beyonce," as part of its women studies course offerings. The class aims to look beyond Beyonce's personal political engagements—which are quite extensive, given her essay on gender equity for the Shriver Report, her sampling of Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi's work in her song "Flawless," and her many hang outs with MObama at the White House. Instead the class uses her career as a catalyst for conversation around American race, gender, and sexual politics. Paring Beyonce's tracks with the writing of leading black feminist thinkers, the course looks to complicate Beyonce's as an agent of social change. Some of the tough midterm questions: how much control does Bey have over her aesthetic? And is her sexy-self empowered or stereotypical? Don't worry, we'll help you study!