Beyonce Course To Debut This Fall At University of Waterloo


Queen Bey is getting her own drama course at The University of Waterloo.

"Gender and Performance" (DRAMA 282), which is being offered by the school's Drama and Speech Communication department, is focused entirely on the pop culture deity and her impact on mainstream feminism.

"Beyoncé, like popular culture, has often been relegated to the space of low-brow, low-class work, so I think there are people who are alarmed by the fact that low art could find its way into a high-art elitist space," Naila Keleta-Mae, who will be teaching the course next fall, told The National Post. "What is it about Beyoncé that makes people think she's not worthy of study? Was Shakespeare deemed to be worthy of study at the time he was making his art?"

Beyoncé self- titled album is a "vexing articulation of contemporary mainstream feminism that has captivated audiences worldwide," according to school officials.

"I had to take up the work of this performer who is astute, an astute businesswoman, who is articulating a kind of feminism that is fascinating and very much of the 21st century and is definitely a mainstream feminism," Keleta-Mae told The Frisky.

Students enrolled in the course will analyze videos from her recent eponymously titled album, use feminist and critical race theories to reflect on the artist's work and create their own artistic responses.

"Whether or not feminist scholars, activists or artists agree with Beyoncé's discourse, her influence on popular culture is undeniable," Keleta-Mae explained. "I would argue that it would be negligent for those of us interested in gender studies to dismiss the album 'Beyoncé' or its principal artist."

Last year, Rutgers University in New Jersey announced that they were offering a course on pop singer their school's Department of Women's and Gender Studies.

"It's important to shift students away from simply being consumers of media toward thinking more critically about what they're engaging on a regular basis," Kevin Allred, who lectured the course "Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé,"  told Rutgers Today.

"Gender and Performance" will be offered in Fall 2015 to all students and has no prerequisites. 

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