Oneka LaBennett’s “Women in Hip Hop” ranked among Elle Magazine’s most compelling college classes

By: Natalie Mathews,  Elle
June 29, 2016

The following excerpt comes from

63 College Classes That Give Us Hope for the Next Generation

​And also make us totally jealous of them, too. ​

"Feminist Blogging." "Femininity, Beauty, and the Black Female Body." "Funny, You Don't Look Jewish: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Judaism."

These may sound like the tightly focused titles of students' college theses, but instead, they're entire semester-long courses at some of the country's leading universities. While there's not often a lot of good news about the female experience on college campuses, in this one case, there is: We've come a long way since the 1970s, when The New York Times declared taking a women's studies class a "new college trend" that was totally "in vogue," offering the chance to study "anything from the writings of Louisa Mae Alcott to the influence of pioneer women in the early West." (So inclusive!)

In recent years, women's studies classes have stretched far beyond those confines to address women of many different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds, and to explore more contemporary issues, too. Here, 63 of the most compelling offerings for today's college students to examine the female experience. (Perhaps most encouraging of all: it's not just a small, private liberal arts college thing—there are tons of options from large, public universities on this list, too.)

#10 Cornell University:  Women in Hip Hop

Taught by Oneka LaBennett

From the course description: The class asks questions like "What do the sexual politics of rap music reveal about Black women's conceptualizations of feminism? How can we apply early 'hip hop feminism' to understand current debates about Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj? How are hetero-normative gender ideologies reinforced in hip hop culture?"


Women in hp-hop