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May 27, 2014

Beyonce And Miley Cyrus Studies Offered At US Colleges

Miley Cyrus and Beyonce are subject of academic studies

Students at one of America’s oldest and most prestigious universities will this week begin taking a course studying the pop star Beyoncé Knowles.
Rutgers University in New Jersey is offering the programme, called “Feminist Perspectives: Politicising Beyoncé,” as part of its women and gender studies course.
It will focus on the growth of the star’s media empire, with an emphasis on her roles as a “black icon” and sex symbol while managing a successful marriage, to rapper Jay-Z, and motherhood.
As part of the programme, students will tackle literature by black, feminist writers such as bell hooks and the abolitionist Sojourner Truth.
Also this week, Skidmore College, a liberal arts institution in Saratoga Springs, upstate New York, will offer a course on “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus,” focusing on the former child star turned pop temptress.

Academics at both institutions claim that the modules provide an accessible way for students to learn about issues such as race, gender and even business.
Kevin Allred, the doctoral student who is teaching the class on Beyoncé, who at 32-year-old is worth an estimated $350 million (£208 million), told the New York Daily News: “She’s the most powerful black woman in entertainment and pop culture.
“Her music has always had strong implications for what it means to be a beautiful and strong woman today.”
Carolyn Chernoff, an assistant professor who is running the programme on Miley Cyrus, said she was a “useful primary document” having risen from fame as Disney’s Hannah Montana to become a controversial adult singer known for her provocative outfits and dances such as the hip-hop-inspired “twerking”.
“She’s a really interesting case study for how someone can represent sex and gender while maturing in the public eye," she added.
“Miley is a work in progress, but you can already see such a complex narrative of how people talk about her unbridled sexuality.”
Rik Scarce, chair of of sociology department at Skidmore, said he had “no hesitation” in approving the course.
“Miley Cyrus is a delivery device for themes of American life,” he said. “When you say, ‘Miley Cyrus? Who cares about her?’ you shut down the very purpose of sociology.”
Beyonce and Miley Cyrus are not the first pop stars to be the subject of academic study.
Georgetown University sociology students have already debated Beyonce’s husband Jay-Z, singer Lady Gaga was on the curriculum at the University of South Carolina and New York University offered a course in Classic Albums which covered works by the Beastie Boys and Prince among others.

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