January 30, 2014 9:16

US university to offer a course in Beyoncé

Rutgers University is offering the class 'Politicizing Beyoncé' to "explore American race, gender and sexual politics"

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A US university is offering a course in Beyoncé.

The class at Rutgers University, New Jersey, is called 'Politicizing Beyoncé' and will explore explore American race, gender and sexual politics through the pop star's music and career.

In an interview with campus newspaper Rutgers Today, course leader Kevin Allred, a PhD student who teaches at Rutgers' Department of Women's and Gender Studies. He says the course will compare the singer's music videos and lyrics with the work of key figures in the black feminist movement including the writings of Alice Walker and Sojourner Truth.

Course topics include discussion around whether Beyoncé has control over her own aesthetic, whether her body is empowered or stereotypical, and her alter ego, 'Sasha Fierce'.

"She certainly pushes boundaries," Allred said. "While other artists are simply releasing music, she's creating a grand narrative around her life, her career, and her persona."

"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," he continued. "When students don’t respond to theory or dense readings, it’s often easier to see things play out in the world around them."

Rutgers also offers a course in Bruce Springsteen theology, which focuses on the biblical reference in the singer's work. Meanwhile, Georgetown University is offering a course called 'The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Theodicy of Jay-Z'.

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