According to a university news release, the course (AFAM 3600 E: Black Women in Modern America) introduces the album “as a jumping off point to explore such issues through the eyes of numerous other writers, artists, poets, and scholars.”
Inspired by writer Candice Marie Benbow’s list of resources titled “Lemonade Syllabus,” the black feminist theory class taught by adjunct instructor of African-American studies Caterina Orr aims to challenge students to “deconstruct and examine ‘Lemonade’ in new ways by introducing material from renowned feminist and African-American scholar Bell Hooks that criticizes parts of the album.”
The author and activist published her critical analysis of the visual album in May 2016. In the essay, Hooks lauded Beyoncé’s illuminating positive portrayal of the black female body and sisterhood, but argued the “radical repositioning of black female images does not truly overshadow or change conventional sexist constructions of black female identity.” She critiqued the artist for “the business of capitalist money making at its best.”
According to Orr, reading such critiques “will leave students with a stronger, more developed understanding of the issues.”
In an interview with GPB “On Second Thought” host Virginia Prescott, Orr said the course also dives into larger themes of modern American feminism, the role of black women in the women’s suffrage movement and the angry black woman stereotype.
Why Beyoncé? Well, if you’re going to study black feminist theory at all, Orr said, “you need to study Beyoncé. It’s really just that simple.”
Source: BEYONCE new