Rutgers University has added a new class to their curriculum that is a little unusual. The class is called “Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé”. That’s right; it is a class all about Beyoncé and how her life and career have been open doors for views that we have about feminism. Kevin Allred, PhD candidate is the professor for the course.
Allred did an interview with Rutgers Today which is the school’s paper. He explained that the course wasn’t necessarily about the singer herself, but more how her music career and her media attention are a viewpoint of the American political system and how it deals with race, gender, and s*xual politics. He takes his lesson plans and combines them with music videos and lyrics from Beyoncé’s catalog. With her latest “Drunk in Love” performance with her hubby Jay-Z, he certainly has material to build lessons from.
Although the course implies that it’s all about Beyoncé, Allred tries to throw other singers in there who are lesser known but just as significant. Some of these singers are Alice Walker and Sojourner Truth. Allred says that the course is meant to make the students take a look at what they are really seeing on TV and the lyrics that they are listening to and go into the deeper meaning of them. He wants the students to think about the political commentary and the different influences that these lyrics could have on society or the influence society has on the lyrics.
This is not the first time that a university has offered such an odd class. Georgetown University has a class called “The Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z”. It appears that colleges just love the couple and what they bring to the table!