Beyoncé’s Blueprint for Building a Queer World

Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 7 - 8pm

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We Were Never Meant To Survive: Beyoncé’s Blueprint for Building a Queer World

A free and open lecture by Kevin Allred, professor of the Rutgers course Politicizing Beyoncé, asks: What does Beyoncé’s music have to teach us about building a queer world — a more equitable world that challenges the traditional heteronormative conceptions of gender and sexuality? This talk puts black feminist texts in conversation with Beyoncé in order to politicize her work and illuminate her long history of affirming and empowering queer lives through provocative, diverse gender and sexual representation. 

Kevin Allred is a feminist author, educator, and undoer of the status quo. A shameless outlaw of academia, he believes that everyone - not just gatekeepers of the Ivory Tower - should have access to knowledge and education. In 2010, he created the interdisciplinary college course "Politicizing Beyoncé," which puts Beyoncé Knowles-Carter's career and music in conversation with black feminist texts in order to think through America's current racial, gender, class, and sexual politics.

Located in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, at 41 Cooper Square (on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.