Rutgers Department of Women's and Gender Studies Statement on Politicizing Beyoncé
We were saddened to read the recent Guardian essay written regarding “Politicizing Beyoncé”, a course formerly taught here in Women's & Gender Studies by Kevin Allred, an ABD graduate student who served as a part time lecturer.
Though we decline to comment regarding any particular class or instructor, we would like to emphasize that in line with university requirements and best academic practices, all courses are routinely examined, and course schedules are determined based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, departmental needs and program requirements, faculty expertise, and intellectual integrity. Course enrollments alone however popular the course, cannot become the deciding factor for offering a course in any given year.
The Women's & Gender Studies department at Rutgers University is one of the oldest and most highly regarded programs in the country. We have noted Black feminist scholars in our core and graduate faculty, including Nikol Alexander-Floyd, current undergraduate director, Abena P.A. Busia, current department chair, as well as Brittney Cooper (whose comments to the Guardian were taken out of context), among others. These Black feminist scholars have contributed greatly towards the positive history of teaching black feminist scholarship in our department. It is well known that courses on black feminism and that center on Black women have been offered through our department for decades, and we take great pride in the work we do.