ASRC 3350

ASRC 3350

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2021-2022.

The Beyoncé Nation course at Cornell, which has been requested regularly over the past several years, is finally back by popular demand!  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. One aspect of 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.  In this course, we will examine the related film and its adaptation by black queer and trans women in the Glass Wing Group's Lemonade Served Bitter Sweet. Moreover, we will examine the Homecoming documentary, along with Beyoncé's newer projects such as The Lion: King:  The Gift, Black Is King and Netflix productions.  We will also consider Beyoncé's early career in Destiny's Child, including the impact of projects such "Independent Women, Part I" and popular icons such as Farrah Fawcett in shaping her Southern discourse.  We will carefully trace Beyoncé's journey to global fame and iconicity and the roles of the music business, social media and technology, fashion, and film in her development. We will consider her impact on politics and contemporary activist movements, as well as her engagement of black liberation discourses from the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party to Black Lives Matter, #SayHerName and #TakeAKnee. Furthermore, we will consider Beyoncé's impact in shaping feminism, including 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.  We will draw on the growing body of critical research and writing in Beyoncé studies, taking up book-length studies such as Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley's Beyoncé in Formation: Remixing Black Feminism, and essays from collections such as Adrienne Trier-Bieniek's The Beyonce Effect: Essays on Sexuality, Race and Feminism, Kinitra D. Brooks's The Lemonade Reader:  Beyoncé, Black Feminism and Spirituality, Veronica Chambers's Queen Bey: A Celebration of the Power and Creativity of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and Christina Baade and Kristin A. McGee's Beyoncé in the World:  Making Meaning with Queen Bey in Troubled Times.  Additionally, we will draw on works such as Michael Eric Dyson's JAY-Z:  Made in America, and Destiny's Child:  The Untold Story by Mathew Knowles, who will visit to discuss his books and backgrounds related to the music business and entrepreneurship.

When Offered Spring.

Distribution Category (LA-AS, ALC-AS, SCD-AS)

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Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session.  Combined with: AMST 3355ENGL 3950FGSS 3350

  • 4 Credits Graded

  • 18144 ASRC 3350   SEM 101

  • Instruction Mode: In Person