Get Information: Following the Politics in Beyoncé's "Formation"

Kevin Allred

What is Beyoncé's political vision in her new song "Formation"? The recent release is not only an empowering affirmation for certain groups of people, it serves as an educational tool we can all use to get information (and "get in formation") and create conversations around race, gender, and sexual politics -- especially in an American context.

Kevin Allred, creator of the widely popular University course "Politicizing Beyoncé," will lead audiences in a presentation and conversation about the ways "Formation" builds on Beyoncé's previous work and offers us a vision for a political future through pop culture. Perfect for audiences of all sizes and ages, Kevin also uses black feminist writing to ground the analysis and focus on working together across differences for a better world!

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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. Kevin's mission is to facilitate conversations about alternative narratives, histories, and ideologies that confront mainstream America’s current definition of “normal,” all while moving beyond the walls of the traditional classroom.

Currently, a professor at Rutgers University in Women's and Gender Studies, his main teaching interests involve pop culture and politics. He created his own signature course, "Politicizing Beyoncé," which he has been teaching since 2010. The course combines Beyoncé's music with black feminist history and activism to engage students in conversations around the complicated race, gender, and sexual politics of contemporary America. "Politicizing Beyoncé" has been celebrated nationally and internationally as an innovative and creative way to reach young people through pop culture while never sacrificing academic rigor. It has been featured everywhere from the Washington Post and New York Times Magazine to Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and The Source, as well as countless pop culture blogs and online news sites. Kevin and "Politicizing Beyoncé" were even featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. Kevin also continues to travel the country giving keynote presentations based off the "Politicizing Beyoncé" curriculum, as well as talks combining pop culture and politics more generally, everywhere from Harvard University to Claremont McKenna College. The course is also currently being turned into a nonfiction book for all audiences.

In addition to teaching, Kevin can regularly be seen as a contributor on CNN, HuffPost Live, and, most notably, as a regular panelist on MSNBC Shift's "So POPular with Janet Mock." He is also the host of the pop culture podcast "Bey-Ond Pop Culture!" Kevin was born in Logan, UT and has lived in Los Angeles, CA; Boston, MA; and now resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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Get Information: Following the Politics in Beyoncé's "Formation"