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Beyonce is just the latest celeb to have a course named after her. Kevin Allred, a doctoral student at Rutgers’ Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, is now teaching a class called “Politicizing Beyoncé.” We’re not sure why he thinks that Beyonce could be political, but he thinks that the class could be a go.
“This isn’t a course about Beyoncé’s political engagement or how many times she performed during President Obama’s inauguration weekend,” he says.
The lecturer seems to feel that Beyonce can be put into the mix with the writings of bell hooks, Alice Walker and Sojourner Truth. This is a stretch, considering some would have a hard time believing that Marilyn Monroe or Liz Taylor had an impact on white America that went beyond entertainment. Even Madonna, who pushed the limits of modern-day gender roles, might be a tough sell for most Gender Studies departments.
“She certainly pushes boundaries,” Allred says. “While other artists are simply releasing music, she’s creating a grand narrative around her life, her career, and her persona.”
Beyonce’s husband Jay-Z has also been covered in a class by Michael Eric Dyson. “The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Theodicy of Jay-Z,” has been a popular course at Georgetown University.
“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 says. “When students don’t respond to theory or dense readings, it’s often easier to see things play out in the world around them.”