The Washington Post

Oprah Winfrey is not Godmother to Beyonce’s daughter, Beyonce course at Rutgers University

Beyonce at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, August 28, 2011. (© Mario Anzuoni / Reuters/REUTERS)

Now, Rutgers University is offering an entire course in all things Beyoncé – well, not exactly.

Offered by the university’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, the “Politicizing Beyoncé” is taught by a doctoral student and lecturer named Kevin Allred. However, Allred does not attempt to dub Beyoncé as a political figure. Instead, the class analyzes explores the complicated nature of “American race, gender and sexual politics” using the singer’s work as an example.

According to Rutgers’ news site, Allred also “pairs Beyoncé’s music videos and lyrics with readings from the black feminist cannon, including the writings of bell hooks, Alice Walker, and even abolitionist Sojourner Truth.”

Not only does the course compare Beyoncé’s work with feminist prose, but it also discusses whether Beyoncé’s skimpy costumes are empowering or demeaning, her use of her alter-ego “Sasha Fierce” and brings the work of other female entertainers into the conversation.

Of course, the legions of Beyoncé critics are going to collectively roll their eyes at this one, but as a fan, the only thing I can say is that I wish my school offered this course. Beyoncé plus debates on gender politics? Sign me up.

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