Beyoncé, Black Feminism, and Pop Culture

This course uses Beyoncé’s 2016 video album, Lemonade, as the starting point for an examination of race, gender, sexuality, and identity in US popular culture. Together, we will explore both the literary and theoretical frameworks of black feminism that inform Beyoncé’s meditation on contemporary black womanhood. Our semester will be divided into three sections, each revolving around a novel that develops these ideas: Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower (1993), and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming (2014). Other readings will include essays and poems by Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Patricia Hill Collins, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Warsan Shire.