Cal Poly to offer entire class on Beyonce

March 7, 2017


Starting in the upcoming spring quarter, Cal Poly, through its ethnic studies department, will offer an entire course on the pop star Beyonce. [Mustang News]

The class will be called Beyonce: Race, Feminism and Politics. The instructor planning the class says the course is particularly relevant because Beyonce is an outspoken critic of police brutality.

Students taking the Beyonce class will follow a curriculum modeled after the pop star’s visual album, “Lemonade.” Each week, the course will cover one of the 12 themes in the album: intuition, denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, loss, accountability, reformation, forgiveness, resurrection, hope and redemption.

The course will conclude with a Beyonce conference called “Cal Poly Bey Day.” The event will consist of a screening of the album Lemonade, coupled with faculty and student presentations and panel discussions on Beyonce’s work. There will also be student performances set to the pop star’s music.

Additionally, the class will construct an altar dedicated to Beyonce and women of color who have been subject to police violence.

Assistant professor Jenell Navarro will teach the inaugural Beyonce course. Navarro is a self-described unapologetic Beyonce fan.

Jenell Navarro

Navarro’s bio states, in 2011, she received a Ph.D. in cultural studies from Claremont Graduate University. Her expertise and published works fall within the fields of indigenous studies and hip-hop studies, according to the Cal Poly website.

The Beyonce class will be an elective, not a required course. But, Navarro said she wants it to become a permanent course that more faculty members will choose to teach in the future.

“Some have questioned if the course is too specific or irrelevant, but we teach a class on Jesus on this campus,” Navarro told Mustang News. “There could be arguments made that that’s too specific or not relevant. It’s called academic freedom.”

Navarro said Cal Poly is a “PWI” — predominantly white institution. Beyonce’s popularity will make it easier for people to have open discussions about race on Cal Poly’s predominantly white campus, Navarro said.

Rutgers University has reportedly offered a Beyonce course for about a dozen years.


Justification: “but we teach a class on Jesus on this campus”…..

Is this an article from the Onion? It can’t be serious.


“but we teach a class on Jesus on this campus”

Because both have a similar effect on world politics, economy, philosophy, and history as we know it.


pi… can’t be serious either.


Wow. A number of people don’t understand sarcasm.

Got it.


I haven’t felt the uncontrollable impulse to comment here in a long time, but had to tell you the story of my daughter-in-law who sadly was in the last graduating class of students receiving Bachelors of Science in Nursing degrees from UCLA. You see, in their wisdom, those in charge of curriculum there decided that Hispanic Studies was more important to the world than nursing. Brilliant, huh? They still offered a Masters, but no undergraduate degree. Go figure. I’d say only in CA, but I’m beginning to doubt it.


OMG, what a waste of college money…


POLYTECHNIC def: of, relating to, or offering instruction in a variety of industrial arts, applied sciences, or technical subjects . . . . . or Beyonce!


Is there a career that is based on Beyonce or Lemonade? Sounds like this will just help add to the list of graduates that can’t use their education to find a job.

This is not your father’s Cal Poly any more. Nothing like stripping away those things that made an institution great.


I am always puzzled when Cal Poly is thrown into the”PWI” catagory have the people who use term ever looked at where Cal Poly is located? The cost of living here? The cost of the education? These are just a few things I believe that keeps a lot”non white”population away from the campus and community,they do not feel comfortable here.


What’s to be puzzled about? Cal Poly has spun its reputation to attract rich white kids from families that wouldn’t have a clue what a good university is, all the while bemoaning its lack of diversity (diversity is actually worse than it used to be). The Mustang News recently did a story on the fact parents of Cal Poly students are the richest in the entire CSU system!! That’s what Cal Poly Today is about — rich kids. This course fits right into their pampered superficial lives.


You upset a lot of rich white people apparently. I guess music appreciation is a subjective class to whom listens to it, and many here want to end freedom of speech and many other liberties because of musical preference. Shouldn’t we be concerned Cal Poly teaches industrial farming and a.g., toxic to ecosystems, denies sudden colony collapse of bees, is a tax payer Corporation promoting an agenda at your expense tax payers, has sponsors like Shell Oil funding projects etc? Snowflakes who are upset by this. Get over it. Its music, don’t listen to it, stop complaining. Snowflake “conservatives”. Amadeus Mozart was a sexual deviant, anyone care? How about John Lennon, Jimi etc? Miles Davis- ya, he did drugs. Cry Cry Cry. I am glad they are promoting terrible music to here all the babies complain. Ya, i think Beyonce is over rated garbage in light to real musicians who have put in their 10k hours of theory etc. But everyones pathetic complaints are as much as a joke.


Btw, i saw the Neil Young concert in Slo at Slo Brew, it was AWESOME! He does not like Monsanto, Cal Poly does though.


billy, it’s NOT a MUSIC class. It’s a politics class. Go back and read what it’s about. If it were in the MUSIC department, your rant might make sense. It’s not, it’s in Ethnic Studies, i.e., the politics of ethnicity.


It is the pressure on the the administration by the groups that do not see themselves adequately represented in school population whether it is a student,staff or faculty.Yes Cal Poly is known as a rich white kids school it has been that way for a long time and nothing will change that till the cost of living,cost of education goes down or stops rising.

I hope some day that these individuals that like to use the term”PWI” get out off the campus and take a real look at the county and go back a few years and look at how this area has always lacked “diversity”we are not L.A. or S.F.

I could careless about the course.


I wonder what those grizzled WW II vets would think of this class in their all-male “Learn by Doing” college?

Can we credit the Notre Dame alum for adding Liberal Arts classes under his presidency?

San Louie

Liberal studies is a rich part of CPSLO going back many decades. This isn’t Liberal Studies though. This is pure crap.

Shocked in MB

OMG! The fact that some people see this as being of some importance to the future leaders of America speaks volumes. SAD SAD SAD!

Interview some of today’s students and you get a blank stare about what is going on in the world. Ask them about popular entertainment figures and music and they are right on it.

And please don’t tell me that it is worldwide. It is not. America is leading the pack in teaching our future leaders how to become irrelevant (and in many cases irreverent also). That is why we are dropping down the rung of “Best —— in the world”.

Just for reference I have been interviewing (Job Applicants-College graduates) worldwide for the last 30 years.

Thanks Cal Poly and the rest of the education system in the US.


Give me a break.! Another example of my tax dollar being wasted. Believe me, next time I interview someone for a job I will not be asking if they attended the Beyonce revival.


If this is acceptable I’d like to sit in on a “class” about Janis Joplin or Joe Cocker.


Throw in Jimi Hendrix and I’ll join you.


British invasion???? Stones, Beatles anyone? anyone? at least that would be historic.

1 2 3 4