January 26th, 2012
Beyonce, Fashion News
Rutgers University Offers Course Titled “Politicizing Beyoncé”
By Claire

Rutgers University plans to offer a course on Beyonce, exploring race, gender, and sexuality through the lens of one of America’s hottest entertainers:

Sister 2 Sister Magazine reports that Kevin Allred, a professor and doctoral student at Rutgers University, sees Beyonce, “as something even greater [than just a singer] with her capacity to effect social change.” Allred says, “This isn’t a course about Beyoncé’s political engagement or how many times she performed during President Obama’s inauguration weekend,” but rather about how she promotes feminism and pushes boundaries. He says, “While other artists are simply releasing music, she’s creating a grand narrative around her life, her career, and her persona.”

I must admit I was giving this course a strong side eye when I first read about it, but Beyonce has made many waves in her career, from being an entrepreneur to a consummate performer and a role model. Even if you don’t appreciate her music, you can’t ignore her influence, and her impact (postive or negative) on black women’s understanding of sexuality, beauty, and style.

What do you think? If you could, would you take this course?
Read more at www.Rutgers.edu.
Source: Sister 2 Sister

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83 Responses to “Rutgers University Offers Course Titled “Politicizing Beyoncé””

  1. mi manning says:

    I actually go to Rutgers, so would I take this course? Hell no!!!! She has no soul when she sings, and all she does is copy off of everybody else and get the credit for it! She’s pushed no boundaries, unless you consider being a spokewoman for Black America to bleach their skin in order to pass the brown-paper-bag test (and no I have nothing against light-skin), especially for the young sistaz out here! Then again, it’s not really her fault, but the people she works for. If you want to do a class on anybody, I take a course on Lauryn Hill or even Erykah Badu, if anything (for obvious reasons that they are PURE talent)!

  2. Louisianagirl says:

    Beyonce does not comdone in bleaching her skin.. I think in her music she just display her heritage to her fans! Beyonce is in fact from Louisiana.. And she is creole is a lot of people do not know that! I would def take a course about beyonce.. It’s always good to know about the artist you support!

  3. Liz says:

    oh brother….I’m at Rutgers now. This gets the side eye.

  4. B says:

    I think Beyonce is a pop icon. Nothing more, nothing less. Her interviews aren’t inspiring, her music is not from the heart. She really has not done anything signifcant but she’s so popular that she gets credit for alot of things. Maybe the city she lives can see a difference she’s made, IDK. She’s not a legend and she’s not an icon. Nobody will be listening to Beyonce songs in 20 years. People are still listening to MJ, Prince, Whitney Houston songs 20 years later. I bring that up because her main career is a singer and she’s just ok at that. What she has done successfully is branded herself and it’s working for her. Fame and fortune is what she wanted, so that’s what she got. But someone that needs to be studied at a University, I would disagree.

  5. Hello says:

    I would actually take this class and its sad how people constantly bash her but either way you cant deny her talent or her power & influence she has on people of all races and ages &Can y’all stop believing EVERYTHING y’all read about her its ridiculous if MTO & Star Magazine said the sky is made of cotton candy and Bey is gonna eat it y’all would believe it smh

  6. CC says:

    mi manning, YOU MAD?….moving along, wow this is interesting, and pretty major, shes certainly expanded wayyy beyond the realms of just music. her husband has a course abt himself as well. all jay needs is a fly or any sort of insect named after him to keep up.

  7. “Even if you don’t appreciate her music, you can’t ignore her influence, and her impact (postive or negative) on black women’s understanding of sexuality, beauty, and style.” Truer words were never spoken i absolutely would take this course i’m bummed i couldn’t take the one studying Decoded

  8. Truth Teller says:


  9. Truth Teller says:


  10. Truth Teller says:


  11. Kim says:


  12. Dude says:

    You could learn the difference between possibly and possibility?

  13. Crystal says:

    hmm, I do like beyonce but I would not spend my hard working tuition dollars on this. i don’t think she’s pushing any boundaries either. Tina Turner, Etta James, Millie Jackson, Josephine Baker…now THEY pushed boundaries (as far as music/performing/making a social difference). i can’t think of one thing beyonce’s done that I’ve never seen before. i’m not throwing shade, whatever she’s doing is working for her.

  14. Mnrodgers says:

    I believe this class is more about an individual whose greatly affected how women are perceived by her influence in the media, whether it’s her doing, her families doing, her managements doing, or societies doing…this woman, and more importantly, the women in media of this generation have changed society, fashion, social networking, makeup, hair, entrepreneurialism, etc…I think the class is a platform for a larger more broad picture and beyonce is just at the forefront. If I was a student at rutgers and a biology student…no I wouldn’t take it…but if I was a media, journalism, psychology major…it may b very interesting. If you don’t think she has a soul, dont take the class, if u think she can’t sing, don’t take the class…if u are interested in learning about how media and fame can not only affect an individual, but their followers in all aspects of their lives, this may b an interesting class. With that said…marylin Monroe, Diana Ross, Audrey Hepburn…those women changed many things in their time because of their influence, and still have impacts on what we do today…but media, communication, woman’s lib, and the transperancy between a celebrities private life and social life were not what they are today…in my opinion beyonce is no different than these woman as far as her “influence” goes…and I hate that pple hate on her.

  15. McKenzie says:

    Um…mi manning, relax. If you had read the description of the course, they never said that it was about Beyoncé’s talent. It’s about her overall influence in the music industry and beyond.

  16. Lauren Rice says:

    I wish they would bring this course to Syracuse University! I would be front and center in lecture

  17. Joanne_ says:

    i wouldnt take this course not because i don’t like beyonce but because i don’t see just how beyonce is the main figure used in this class. i would think about taking the course if it were based on all women who had these same influences on culture, not just bey, let’s face it, knowing more about Bey isn’t going to help me get my master’s or juris doctorate…ijs

  18. Truth Teller says:


  19. nicole says:

    hmmm… i wonder would the course bring a balanced perspective concerning her influence??? i cant say i would take the class and i do think its a waste..but hey someone clearly sees the topic as important and worth 3credits worth of money…

  20. mY oPINION says:

    These so-called intellects need to quit worshipping these celebrities and turning them into demi-Gods. This is a waste of a classroom.

  21. LJF67 says:

    I’ve read in the past that Beyonce does not consider herself a “femminist”. Given the description of the course I’m wondering how the two will be juxtaposed (if indeed the initial assumption is true). If I were an undergrad at Rutgers (disclosure did my Grad Degree at the Newark campus) I would be intrigued; and if I could get in, might take the class. However, her “assault” on the world cannot be denied – the woman is a force to be acknowledged, regardless of the quality of the body of work. It continues to resonate, makes one take notice, and be aware of the entity that is Beyonce.

  22. Brandi says:

    i couldn’t spend my money on that, no.

  23. Micah says:

    Mi manning…. Show me the proof you have of beyonce bleaching her skin. Aw ok, stop being a hater. I absolutely LOVE beyonce, she’s extremely talented and she helps uplift not only black women but all women. However, I can’t say that I would spend money on a class about her. If it was more of like a workshop geared towards helping women build self confidence and learning how to become a great career woman then maybe I could see myself attending. But since it isn’t, well…I’ll just leave it at that.

  24. Dash says:

    Madonna was once a social barometer for feminism in pop culture, I see no reason why Beyonce cannot be studied in the same light.

  25. bougiehippie says:

    How would this class help you after college? Is it worth the Sallie Mae debt?

  26. erm! says:

    ummmmm So I know this may offend some folks. However, does Beyonce have Undergraduate Degree??? Yes, I understand you do not have to be equipped with a graduate degree to be successful, “Beyonce” case in point. However, i just find it odd that in an academic setting students would waste their money on some college credits beyonce herself has never signed up for.#IJS It would be better to make an investment into your life such as entrepreneurship class, public speaking,vocal lessons, and so forth, . Students can become licensed or certified with something, other than “Politicizing Beyonce” . This should be a webinar. s/b If you really pay attention to beyonce’s interviews you can sense she herself is some what uneducated. (B-Stans please do not attack, I love B too). Everything is so rehearsed and copied/pasted. Its like listening to a fresh off the boat African trying to speak with an american accent. FORCED! I dont know, but OPRAH is a brand …it should be Politicizing Oprah … now that would make sense.

  27. Lady Luck says:

    BAHAHAHA! What an effing joke!

    Of all of the AMAZING women, AMAZING BLACK WOMEN in history, they chooses this? (Sorry, I am so appalled I had to go to caps)

    What about Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Sojourner Truth, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde even the Williams Sisters who made it from humble beginnings to tennis champions…I could go on. These are women that have made a POSITIVE impact on the world and have set wonderful examples for young black women.

    When I am teaching my daughter(s) about great black woman they are going to know about the real trailblazers. I am not even going to go into the joke that I think Beyonce is

    I can’t see what this class would do for anyone, save your money, time and effort!

  28. justsaying says:

    This is very sad and disturbing to hear that a college wants to recognize someone who has done nothing for society. Why are they not honoring Oprah. They need to study her life and thought process.

    Beyonce is a artist of music but in what way is she influential in a political way? I can agree if she is honored in a school like FIT (Fashion Institute)

  29. Lee says:


  30. sun.kissed says:

    @B, how do you say Beyonce is an icon, then turn around and say she isn’t?

    I would have taken this course if it were offered while I was in college. It’s one of those ‘easy A’ courses. All colleges have them, don’t attack just because this one is focused on Beyonce’s career. We all needed a gpa booster at one point in life.

  31. whatevs says:

    I luv how everything Beyonce does is reported on this site….and gets the biggest number of hits…but you’re giving the course a strong side eye…this course is the same as the one offered about Lil Kim…Beyonce and Kim commanded black women to talk about every little thing that’s going on in their life and compare…look at the number of posts here and there will probably be triple the number of posts in the morning…the criticism along makes her relevant…

  32. Cherrie says:

    I go to Rutgers as well and would not take this course. Its in a sense idolizing Beyonce. There were many other black women who embraced feminism and pushed boundaries e.g. Oprah, Tyra Banks, Queen Latifah, and Cicely Tyson to name a few. Why not highlight all these great women instead of just one?

  33. whatevs says:

    and you can so tell the type of education the people on this board pursued or are pursuing…small minds…

  34. Bie says:

    At the University of New Hampshire Professor Reginald Wilburn has done a similar course titled “Dream Girls”. Engaging students in the construction of beauty (particularly with black women), gender roles and so much more!
    I think this is the perfect opportunity for academics to be able to critique and have a discourse on Beyonce. Yes she is great but there are a lot of ways in which she perpetuates gender roles, self hate i.e skin bleaching etc…

  35. lola says:

    yaaaaaas Bey!! snatch those scholarly wigs gurl. Dem haters are still mad huh?? lmao!!

  36. Miss Moore says:

    I too give this a major side eye. I am neither a Bey lover nor hater, but I don’t see what is the point of this course. She has not effected any real social movement or change that she should be the entire subject of a course. They should have made a course on black women and their representation in media/ popular culture both positive and negative( I have taken a class similar to this and her name often comes up along with other black celebs). How would this course add to your understanding? Is this gonna improve your life? Not really. Be a fan but don’t waste your money. It would serve to learn about social movements , their origins, and differences ( like the difference between feminism vs womanism or Communism vs Nazism,etc.) so you can make your own personal choices and carry on intelligent conversation. I think this hold especially true if you are a person of color. I’m just saying, this don’t really help or hurt Bey, and for those who would like to bring up her bank roll and album sells, I would say this ain’t an economics class so how is this any useful info to help improve your station? I rarely think that any course focused on 1 individual , with the exception of authors with an expansive group of works and political figures,is useful no matter how popular they are ( you don’t need a classon MJ,the Beatles, JayZ, Madonna, etc.); focus on how they fit in the scheme of things. Now a course on music and how it reflects or helped social movements would be interesting, but unfortunately Bey’s music is usually trivial and wouldn’t even be part of the discussion. Stop trying to make people more than what they are!

  37. MyfirstloveisParis says:

    This is disappointing…

    Can someone explain to me how she has effecting social change exactly? Sure she has great writers that make her some very catchy songs but what else?

    Where is Oprah’s course? Now that is a woman that can effect social change!

  38. MyfirstloveisParis says:


  39. erm! says:

    #CASKET @ lola “scholarly wig hoes” …………. i am in tears

  40. Nani says:

    I am a Beyonce fan but I think this is a little ridiculous. I am a Rutgers Alumnae with a background in Biology and Psychology, this class does not seem like it should even belong in such an accredited institution! She has most definitely influenced globally- but so have others. Why didn’t they consider a general class analyzing the influence of the MANY women who continue to influence our gender on so many other levels? I.E. OPRAH!

  41. mi manning says:

    Ok, for you jerks who can’t do close-readings, I NEVER said Beyonce bleaches her skin, but is the influence for many black girls to want to do so! And then I said it’s NOT REALLY her fault that this is the case, but the people she works for who only puts lighter-skinned women to the forefront, even if their TALENT is mediocre. Now, as far as her being influential or breaking down barriers or whatever the hell this professor is trying to say, I DON’T SEE IT! She looks, acts, dresses, and possibly thinks no different than anybody else! I don’t see her building black schools and universities like Oprah did (and I HATE Oprah), here, in the U.S., I don’t see her building hospitals or mega corporations to employ black college graduates (you know? the people that would be paying to take a course about her). But, I do see her gyrating her hips and always thrusting her vagina in the camera, and rockin’ a cross on one album cover, and then a Baphomet on the other, too! But, hey, they had a course on Lil’ Kim, too. They’ll teach on bogus people like that, but won’t teach you about people who wanted to ressurect the dumb, deaf, and blind black people of the U.S. Hell, next thing you’ll know, they’ll be a course on Nicki Minaj and the class will do a close analysis of “Stupid Hoe”! LOL

  42. KBS says:

    Whether you love her or hate her, you can’t deny she is always polarizing.
    As far as me taking this…maybe to audit or if I needed an easy A for my gpa. But unless I were majoring in pantless parading…naw, I’m good.
    They gave Tupac a course at Berkeley too.

  43. befree1619 says:

    I would be embarrassed to submit my transcripts to a perspective employer with the course a course that said ““Politicizing Beyoncé”. It’s quite said that higher education is restoring to gimmicks to fill classes.

  44. befree1619 says:


  45. Hello says:

    You guys are overreacting Bey is not the first celeb to be the subject of a college course & she surely wont be the last Sex & The City, Lady Gaga & more have college courses as well

  46. Have you suckas never heard of electives!? lol

  47. Hello says:

    @mi manning you need to get laid or buy a pair of new heels why are you so angry..

  48. Omgeezy!!! says:

    I feel u mi manning.ITS A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY!ppl are so sensitive,sheesh!its beside the point but the chicks nose is thinner and skin is lighter than in 2000!She also has no substance!Bottomline

  49. nicky says:

    If you want to know how to make that dough, sell yourself (i dont necessarily mean in a bad way) or marketing. Well then this would benefit you. If there is one thing Beyonce is its a saleswoman, a marketing genious. She has learned how to swarm everyones mind with her, without making the majority nauseaus. Every artist especially one with half a decent manager and marketing sense does it. She doing the same. I cant deny i love her songs, yet she is mos def no Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Whitney Houston etc. She knows as most marketers that sex sells so she does everything in her power to be a “classy” sex icon. That powered by a powerful husband in the hip hop game. She is doing a good job of making herself a brand. If that is what the class is about, making yourself a brand. How to make sex sell, the “cute, classy, innocent” way well then by all means it might be worth paying for the tuition on that class.

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