Nov 28, 2021  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

HON 242 - Beyoncé, Madonna, Nina Simone


Prerequisite, acceptance to the University Honors Program, or consent of instructor. In a New York Times conversation following Beyoncé's explosive 2016 Superbowl performance, critic Wesley Morris suggested that Beyoncé "lands somewhere between" Madonna and Nina Simone. This course brings these three artists from different generations together, situating their work historically, within contemporary critical discussions around race/gender/sexuality and cultural appropriation, and in dialogue with one another. The course offers a cultural studies-based examination of the work of the three artists; our method is not primarily sociological or biographical, though relevant biographical and sociological evidence may inform our analysis. We listen to the music of the three artists, watch their music videos, and read scholarship in critical race studies and feminist cultural criticism. Students develop collaborative oral presentations on each of the three artists and a final critical or creative mashup or disentangling of Beyoncé /Madonna/Nina Simone. Discussion-based seminar. (Offered as needed.) 3 credits