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Show Your Syllabus: Beyonce and Intersectionality

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.

Show Your Syllabus: Beyonce and Intersectionality

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.

INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella )

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