Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department or School/College
Department of English
Feminism, Cultural Studies, Beyonce, Beyonce Knowles, bell hooks, Laverne Cox, Gender Studies, Race
University of Montana
English Language and Literature
In 2016, the cultural conversation around feminism and intersectionality has shifted towards new problems of inclusion and change. Feminists are beginning to ask whether the commodification of female sexuality and objectification are extricable, whether a hypersexualized mainstream identity and a feminist one are mutually exclusive, how to integrate female experiences of different socioeconomic backgrounds, races, and cultures into a new feminism, and how to define feminism as we begin to move away from binary gendering. Increased visibility of trans issues has brought genderqueerness and femmephobia into the feminist conversation, and technology and globalization have forced that conversation to open up to new voices. The fourth wave of feminism has, as Jennifer Baumgardner claims, arrived. It lives in and beyond academic institutions and political movements. It lives in high school hallways, underground queer spaces, and VMA stages. The fourth wave of feminism might be Beyoncé’s.
This paper explores the feminist and race politics of celebrity Beyoncé Knowles, focusing particularly on her recent single “Formation” from the album “Lemonade.” It argues that Beyoncé represents an example of radical politics using mainstream currency, and suggests that the compromises made to maintain public favor ultimately facilitate a deconstruction of the institution from within. The paper goes on to explore the ways that teaching pop media like Beyoncé’s “Formation” video in juvenile detention center settings can be an effective tool for affecting social change, and explores some of the most effective classroom approaches to working with incarcerated youth.
Kahn, Sarah, "QUEEN OF KINGS: BEYONCÉ POLITICS AND PEDAGOGY IN THE JUVENILE DETENTION CENTER CLASSROOM" (2016). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 10645.
© Copyright 2016 Sarah Kahn