Beyonce, Feminism and Pop Culture

More shameless self-promotion I’m afraid. I recently gave a lecture at KMH Royal College of Music Stockholm on Beyonce, Feminism and Pop Culture. My talk explored how Beyoncé embodies the tensions between the media and feminist, black feminist and post-feminist voices in popular culture. It examined Beyoncé’s music and imagery in popular culture and explored the now established debate regarding the ways in which famous women are routinely scrutinised in the popular media.


Beyoncé’s image has always been portrayed as both a denial and a symbol of mainstream feminism, through the discussion of her recent feminist standpoints, the image of her body, her alleged denial of their ethnicity through the choice of hairstyle, her marriage, her “fake” pregnancy and motherhood, and her status as a powerful businesswoman.

Beyoncé’s latest direct involvement in feminist issues, both through her latest album, Beyoncé (2013) and her written articles, making her image even more complicated and multifaceted.

It was so fascinating to hear such divided and passionate views from the audience on the notion of any female popular music artist espousing a feminist agenda. The talk is part of a larger book project on Beyoncé and celebrity feminism.

Published by kirstyfairclough

Kirsty Fairclough is Reader in Screen Studies at the School of Digital Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University and Chair of Manchester Jazz Festival. She has published widely on popular culture and am the co-editor of The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electropop (Routledge), The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment (Bloomsbury) and Music/Video: Forms, Aesthetics, Media. New York, (Bloomsbury) and author of the forthcoming Beyoncé: Celebrity Feminism and Popular Culture (I.B Tauris) and co-author of American Cinema: A Contemporary Introduction (Palgrave). Her work has been published in Senses of Cinema, Feminist Media Studies, SERIES and Celebrity Studies journals and she has made several television and radio appearances. Kirsty has lectured internationally on popular culture, feminism and representations of women most notably at The Royal College of Music, Stockholm, The University of Copenhagen, Second City, Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, Middle Tennessee State University, Unisinos Brazil and Bucknell University, Pennsylvania. She has significant experience in international partnership development, particularly in North America and developed the Salford Popular Culture Conference series with international partner universities, including I’ll See You Again in 25 Years, Twin Peaks and Generations of Cult Television: A Two Day International Conference (University of Salford, May 2015) and Mad Men: The Conference (Middle Tennessee State University, May 2016) and Purple Reign: An interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince, a three day international academic conference hosted by the School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, UK and the Department of Recording Industry, Middle Tennessee State University, USA.

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