Rap mogul Jay Z isn’t the only artist who has teachers giving lessons on his music as new reports claim his superstar wife Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is going to be the topic of discussion in select Rutgers University classrooms soon.
Details of the prestigious university’s unexpected power move have surfaced online this week.
If you think repeated listening of Beyoncé’s raunchy new self-titled album has made you an expert on the pop star, then The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University would like to invite you in their classrooms for a semester. They’re currently offering students a chance to study the depths of her persona and how it compares to today’s societal impact with course called “Polarizing Beyoncé.” (HHW)
Reports claim a heavy emphasis will be placed into Queen Bey’s lyrics and visuals.
Kevin Allred, a doctoral student who is teaching the class, tells the university’s online news site that he is using Beyoncé’s career as a way to explore American race, gender and sexual politics. The class supplements an analysis of Beyoncé’s videos and lyrics with readings from black feminists. Allred says he’s seeking to help students think more critically about media consumption. (Huffington Post)
Last September, a Mississippi middle school caught fire over Jay Z being brought up in a lesson.
According to at least one parent, though, that is exactly what the Desoto Central Middle School staff assigned as part of its English curriculum. The mother of one student in the class recalled her son showing her the lesson, which included a study of his hit song, “Big Pimpin’.” “Another song talked about thug life,” the concerned mother added. “My child was getting an education about thug life.” Even as Fox News learned of the story and began investigating, school staff was tight-lipped regarding the brewing controversy. (Western Journalism)
Back in 2011, Georgetown University raised eyebrows with the launch of a course called “Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay Z.”
The course, “Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z,” may seem an unlikely offering at a Jesuit, majority-white school that counts former President Bill Clinton among its alumni. But Michael Eric Dyson insists that his class confronts topics present in any sociology course: racial and gender identity, sexuality, capitalism and economic inequality. “It just happens to have an interesting object of engagement in Jay-Z – and what better way to meet people where they are?” Dyson said. “It’s like Jesus talking to the woman at the well. You ask for a drink of water, then you get into some theological discussions. … I think he’s an icon of American excellence.” (CBS News)
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