University of Texas Offers Course on Beyoncé and Rihanna

Course will examine pop star's careers in relation to black feminism

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Here’s some news that will have the Beyhive and Rihanna Navy jumping for joy.

Professors at the University of Texas at Austin are offering a gender studies course that provides students with an in-depth analysis of the careers of two of today’s biggest female musicians.

With controversial projects that have put both artists in hot water with pop culture critics, the careers of Beyoncé and Rihanna are constantly under scrutiny. With songs like “Run the World (Girls)” and “Flawless,” which features words from Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mrs. Carter has been criticized countless times for her stance on feminism and whether or not her image and the message of her music correctly aligns with the feminist perspective. On the other hand, self-proclaimed “bad gal” Rihanna has been the subject of many headlines for her no apologies given attitude, with many of her personal and professional actions leading to numerous online debates and opinion pieces.

Taking a look beyond just the music and lyrics of these two artists, the University of Texas course titled “Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism” will cause students to examine the message and image of these female pop stars as it relates to black feminism.

According to the course’s description, “Students in this class will learn that there is far more than catchy melodies to Beyoncé’s and Rihanna’s music. They will not be simply listening to Beyoncé and Rihanna for fun or even comparing the roles of Beyoncé and Rihanna in popular culture, rather, students will be studying how the lyrics, music videos, and actions of these women express various aspects of black feminism such as violence, economic opportunity, sexuality, standards of beauty, and creative self-expression.”

The course is scheduled to be available to students in the Spring of 2015.

One Response to University of Texas Offers Course on Beyoncé and Rihanna

  1. Pingback: This woman's work: The case for Beyoncé and black feminist criticism -

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