From “Formation” to “Lemonade,” this course utilizes the artistry, musicianship and feminism of Beyoncé to explore deeper issues of patriarchy, racism, classism and sexism in society.
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Topics: John V. Roach Honors College
Beyonce Knowles-Carter performs onstage during the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California. Getty Images © Larry Busacca / Staff
About the course: This honors course uses contemporary music icon Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as a lens to examine academic ideas of intersectionality and black feminist thought. In studying other contemporary pop and hip-hop artists, students are provided a cultural link to issues such as economic inequality, white supremacy and the #MeToo movement.
Instructor: Lynn Hampton, lecturer in the John V. Roach Honors College
Class times: Wednesdays, 4 to 6:40 p.m.
Class size: 12 senior honors students
Texts: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Anchor Books, 2014)
Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment by Patricia Hill Collins (Routledge, 2000)
Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black by bell hooks (Between the Lines, 1989)
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde (The Crossing Press, 1984)
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper (St. Martin’s Press, 2018)
An array of academic articles as well as contemporary news stories, videos and social media posts
Classwork: Weekly reflection essays consisting of 500-word explorations of an assigned reading
Leading a class discussion in which students connect a Beyoncé song with ideas of intersectionality and feminism
A critical analysis on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists
A final project examining a societal problem and analyzing it from an intersectional perspective through scholarly texts, empirical methods and critical engagement with the arts
— Compiled by Zach Martino
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