The École Normale Supérieure offers courses on Beyoncé

Human and social sciences, law, economics… Too classic for you? The École Normale Supérieure (ENS) is organizing a student seminar on feminist pop icon Beyoncé.

Called “Beyoncé: nuances of a cultural icon”, the seminar, which aims to reflect on the notions of culture and representativeness, will take place from November 24 to February 9, 2022. On the program, half a dozen courses on the work by Queen B.

Beyoncé Studies: “Who run the world? Girls! »

The site of the prestigious École Normale Supérieure explains that this seminar “aims to apprehend in a multidisciplinary anchoring the issues raised by Beyoncé’s artistic orientation, both in the history of art, contemporary literature, history or philosophy. “And there is material, given the diversity of the work of the one who combines the caps of singer, songwriter, dancer, producer and actress. With the release of his latest album Renaissance (July 2022), Queen B gave herself the best start of the year for a female artist. She thus became the first female artist to rank seven consecutive albums at the top of the best-selling albums chart.

Beyoncé, phenomenon and symbol of a complex world

Alternately referred to as ” artist of the decade » (The Guardian in 2009) and “ most popular, most important and most influential musician of this beginning of XXIe century » (New Yorker in 2013), the one that appears in the list of “ most powerful stars » from the magazine Forbes began his career with Destiny’s Child before embarking on a solo career.

Most Awarded Female Artist Grammy Awards (28 awards), she was chosen in 2013 to perform the American anthem during Obama’s second inauguration. If the business woman is today at the head of an empire estimated at $400 million, she is no less committed. Openly feminist (Run the World), she also denounces police violence against the black community and supports the Black Lives Matter movement. In 2018, during the Festival Coachellashe intones Lift Every Voice and Sing, considered the national anthem of African Americans. Beyoncé also supports the LGBT+ cause, and has created with her friend Kelly Rowland Destiny’s Child the Survivor Foundation to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She also participated in the writing of Stand Up For Lovean anthem for World Children’s Day and recently partnered with the “Show Your Helping Hand” teams fighting hunger in America.

Beyoncé, a mirror of our time?

For her many commitments, the diva is also adored than criticizedaccused of recovery, spoliation or cynical opportunism… For the organizers of the seminar, question Beyoncé’s work and personality is an opportunity to question more broadly the split between “a so-called legitimate and scholarly culture and a ‘stigmatized’ popular culture. Studying his productions, his speeches as well as their repercussions allows a relationship to reality, a gateway to understanding our time. »

Enable students to analyze the world they live in

It is not the first time that the career of a star is taught in a high school. In 2016, the University of Texas offered a series of courses on Beyoncé entitled ” Black Women, Beyoncé and Popular Culture “. In February 2022, the Clive Davis Institute (New York University) presented its very first course on Taylor Swift. A course evoking the trajectory of the star and what she says about the American “cultural context”. In 2023, it is Harry Styles (ex-member of One direction) who will be the subject of specific teaching at the University of Texas. Its title? “Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet and European Pop Culture”. The school said the course will address “issues of gender and sexuality, race, class, nation, globalism, media, fashion, fan culture and the internet.” Extensive program.

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