TR 11:40 – 12:55 PM
ARSC 3350/AMST 3355/ENGL 3950/FGSS 3350
Beyoncé’s trajectory from Houston, Texas as a member of the group Destiny’s Child to international fame and superstardom and a successful career as a solo singer, actress, clothing designer and entrepreneur holds important implications for critical dialogues on the U.S. South and national femininity. Her iconicity illustrates the region’s profound impact on the nationalization and globalization of black femininity in popular and political contexts. This course examines themes related to her intersectional identity as a model of black and Southern womanhood that have recurred in her song lyrics, performances and visual representations, which have also been foundational for her development of more recent productions, including “Formation” and the larger Lemonade album, which we will examine in this course. We will also consider Beyoncé’s early career in Destiny’s Child, including the impact of projects such a “Independent Women, Part II” and popular icons such as Farrah Fawcett in shaping Beyoncé’s Southern discourse. We will carefully trace Beyoncé’s journey to global fame and iconicity and the impact of the music business, social media, fashion, and film in her development. We will also consider her impact on politics and contemporary activist movements, as well as her engagement of black liberation discourses from the Civil Rights Movement to the Black Panther Party. Furthermore, we will consider Beyoncé’s impact in shaping black feminism, along with her impact on constructions of race, gender, sexuality, marriage, family, and motherhood. In addition to her body of work in film and video, we will draw on popular essays and critical writings on Beyoncé that have been produced from journals to books, along with visual materials and several biographies. In addition, we will explore texts such as "I, Tina" and "Dreamgirls: My Life As a Supreme" that have paved the way to the rise of her artistic empire and productions in which Beyoncé has been involved in the popular arena.