New University of Waterloo course 'focused entirely' on Beyonce
Published Tuesday, June 23, 2015 3:51PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 23, 2015 7:01PM EDT
There’s a lot of buzz around the University of Waterloo’s drama department – Queen Bey is coming to town. Sort of.
This fall, the school is offering a new course called “Gender and Performance.”
The course has received an unusual amount of media attention, largely because a press release touted the course as being “focused entirely” on pop star Beyonce.
“Beyonce is a well-known artist. Her reach is undeniable. Her influence on popular culture is undeniable,” Naila Keleta-Mae, the course’s instructor, said in an interview.
Specifically, the course looks at Beyonce’s latest, self-titled album through the prism of feminist and race theories students may have learned in previous classes.
Keleta-Mae says she’s heard from plenty of students interested in taking the course – as well as a few people who don’t attend Waterloo.
“They’re excited to be able to take a course that will allow them to engage with intellectual rigour, and apply it to someone that they know … and work that they haven’t thought of in those ways before,” she said.
Only 20 students will be able to register for the course.
Alyssa Almeida, a drama major at Waterloo, hopes to be one of them.
She says she expects the course to be “fantastic” – and disputes any claims that it’s an easy curriculum where she can listen to tunes.
“It’s so much more than that,” she said.
“It’s about the things that she represents and the messages that come through in her music.”
Math student James Lowman found the offering much less enticing.
“It sounds like a marketing campaign,” he said.
Keleta-Mae says Beyonce’s last album was chosen for the course because it was the first of her works to significantly address feminism and feminist concepts.