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Ain't I a Diva?: Beyoncé and the Power of Pop Culture Pedagogy
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Ain't I a Diva?: Beyoncé and the Power of Pop Culture Pedagogy

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  32 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Paperback, 392 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by The Feminist Press at CUNY
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Walker Iversen
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Ain’t I a Diva?” is the natural culmination of Kevin Allred’s work teaching his class “Politicizing Beyoncé”, which originated in 2010 and gained national attention from media outlets and even Beyoncé’s own Parkwood team. The class aimed to explore Beyoncé’s body of work through various lenses including race, gender, and sexuality. While popular, it also proved to be controversial, as things with Beyoncé often are nowadays.

I’ve been following this class-to-book evolution since I first heard of
...more
Brett
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
When the book went deep and did close reading it was brilliant. When the book tried to read Beyoncé as an exhibition of theory, I think it flattened out her work. That said, this might be partly a genre thing because of the goal of the class the book is based on. Overall, I’m glad I read it, and I wish there was more like it in a number of different ways.
Eilonwy
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been carrying this book around, re-reading it, for over a month, as it's a great demonstration of how to talk about music's intersection with culture in an accessible way that goes far beyond traditional musician bios and takes a different angle than music theory.

You don't have to be a Beyonce fan to find this book fascinating and enlightening -- in fact, I'd say it's a must-read for any fandom that's seeking "easter eggs" and messages in their favorites' videos, because here's how to do i
...more
Marshall Brooks
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like Beyoncé, you'll love this book. Kevin Allred started the popular college course "Politicizing Beyoncé" back in 2010 -- this book turns that class into an accessible, exciting read. Even inspirational at times. It covers a lot of ground and also introduces readers to a longer history of Black feminist literature (if they're not already familiar with it), showing how the experiences and struggles of marginalized groups are intertwined. Kevin shows how Beyoncé's word draws on Black femi ...more
Alex
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education
worth checking out for the bibliography/syllabus at the end for reading suggestions (entirely composed of the work of black women) but allred's analyses of beyoncé's music & art are rather simplistic throughout. also, he does acknowledge his privilege as a white cis man, but continues to profit from this? i'm confused ...more
Adelle
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is exceptionally well written with wit and deliberate deference to the wisdom of a multitude of black women. Using Beyoncé lyrics as a conduit to the heaviest of issues allows readers to engage across mediums and see connections to our ghosts and our futures. This is a must read for all of us seeking to be greater allies and humans.
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Meet Kevin Allred: a writer, speaker, educator, and (sometimes) musician with a passion for the politics of pop culture (and particular love of Beyoncé). An unapologetic outlaw of academia, he believes knowledge should be accessible to everyone—not just gatekeepers of the Ivory Tower—and that education should always also be fun.

Kevin's mission is to facilitate conversations that highlight the inte
...more

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