- December 9, 2014

UT Austin Students Are Actually Going To Be Studying Beyoncé And Rihanna

The University of Texas may have misplaced some human brains recently, but that doesn’t make them any less awesome. In fact, we don’t think that you should let the brain drama affect your opinion of UT Austin at all. Here’s why: Beyoncé.

Professor Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley recently announced a groundbreaking course in feminism. She calls it, “Beyoncé Feminism and Rihanna Womanism.” The concept isn’t exactly unique — another professor in New Jersey had the same idea — but it still has UT students aflutter. The class, which seats 85 and now has a wait list out the door.

Tinsley plans to combine readings and music videos to guide her students through the social issues women of color face. Students will also analyze ways that the pop stars have become potent icons in the Black Feminist movement.

“What I’m interested in is how the language of their songs, the language that they use in the media, open space for women to talk about issues that relate to their own lives,” Professor Tinsley told KXAN. “Their words about love, violence, beauty and womanhood reach around the world in a way no other African American or Afro Caribbean woman’s currently does.”

Beyoncé considers herself to be a stalwart feminist, although she has faced widespread criticism for her “over-sexualized” performances and lyrics. In fact, Vogue’s May 2013 issue (subscribers only) centered around Beyoncé’s so-called feminism, giving the pop queen the opportunity to defend her beliefs.

“I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything? I’m just a woman and I love being a woman,” she told the magazine. “It comes from knowing my purpose and really meeting myself once I saw my child. I was like, ‘OK, this is what you were born to do’. The purpose of my body became completely different.”

It’s a sure bet that Beyoncé’s controversial “Bow Down” performance, from her 2014 tour, gets mentioned in Tinsley’s curriculum. “Run the World” (below) is likely on the list too.

Now, if only we could get a zombie survival course going like MSU


Featured photo: Flickr user Hot Gossip Italia, CC licensed