The University of California Berkeley will be offering a course this coming spring which focuses on popular female rapper Nicki Minaj.
Officially titled “The Galaxy of Hip-Hop Feminisms” in the UC Berkeley 2022-23 Academic Guide, instructor Peace And Love B El Henson’s (pictured below) class will delve into the “many iterations” of the topic “on stage and in everyday spaces.”
According to its description, the course will “track the constellation of dynamic voices, theories and productions of underground and mainstream Black feminine rappers who have influenced the origins of Hip-Hop and its ongoing evolution.”
It will also look at the “genealogy and nuance of key Black feminine rappers and theoreticians in the field, practice, and culture of Hip-Hop Feminisms across the Black Diaspora.”
Readings for the course come from the areas of “Hip-Hop Studies, Feminist Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Porn Studies, Media & Film Studies, Performance Studies.”
Students need permission from both Henson and “the department” (presumably African American and African Diaspora Studies) to get into the course … which may account for why there currently is no one enrolled (below).
WKRC reports that Minaj noted on Twitter she would “love to stop by” upon hearing news of the class.
I’d love to stop by
— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) October 6, 2022
Henson’s faculty page describes her as a “black feminist urban ethnographer and critical porn studies analyst” whose research deals with “black queer femmes, state violence, pornography, and ethnography.”
Regarding that first research topic, Henson says it utilizes “black femmes’ theatrical performances from online interracial pornography to read real-life state policing encounters and vice versa [and] aims to denude the unconscious racialized pornographic BDSM […] structured into interracial relations across sites of chattel slavery, professional pornography, public schools, universities, neighborhoods, and beyond.”