Beyonce class being taught at UIC

Did you doubt pop culture's place in the classroom?

Well, think again.

"So the infamous question is, is Beyonce feminist or not has been addressed finally in class," said Dr. Jennifer Richardson.

Richardson teaches the course "Beyonce: Critical Feminist Perspective and the Politics of U.S. ‘Black womanhood'" at The University of Illinois at Chicago.

"I think she's just a pop cultural icon and I think it's important to learn from the icons that we see on TV every day, kind of dissect and learn from them and be more literal in our surroundings," said Dorota Napiorkowska.

On Wednesday night, the lecture was open to the public and plenty of critical thinkers and curious minds attended.

"How she is effecting and how she is being used as a feminism icon," said Amanda Dice.

As the course description highlights, "… with songs like ‘Run the World' and ‘Flawless…' 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."

Powerful, beautiful and dynamic," said Dice in an interview with Fox 32's Tisha Lewis.

A few men sat in on the lecture.

"How you can define her as a feminist, as a black feminist as someone who has such a public image and how they're able to implement that image in a matter, in a way that has an impact on social justice on our cultural values and ideas," said Ellis Srubas-Giammanco.

The course objectives include analyzing the intersections of identity, race, gender, class and sexuality in contemporary representations of black women in media and pop culture.

"We all love her music but there's something greater here that the lecture is trying to get at," said Srubas-Giammanco.

Fox 32's Tisha Lewis reports 35 students signed up for the course that ends in May and it is unlikely that it will be available next semester. The professor who created the curriculum and teaches the course is leaving the school to pursue new opportunities.

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