Rapsody’s critically acclaimed EVE has inspired courses at two universities. The 2019 album, which Rapsody described as a “love letter to all Black women,” includes titles and themes inspired by influential African American women throughout history, including Aaliyah, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Doctoral student Tyler Bunzey at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill first announced his upcoming course based on the album on Tuesday (April 14).
“I’m incredibly pleased to announce that I will be teaching a course at UNC this fall on Rapsody’s magnificent album EVE,” Bunzey wrote. “We will be examining the album track by track with readings and media to accompany each record.”
According to an Instagram post, Bunzey’s course will explore “the critical womanist stance of Rapsody’s 2019 release EVE, which features 16 songs titled with names of famous Black women through history.”
“Additionally students will look at hip-hop’s historical development to engage with albums from female-identifying hip-hoppers throughout the genre’s history,” the course description continued. “Using critical reading and listening skills, students will present original research on hip-hop history, Black womanist criticism, and critical theory.”
For the course, students will be assigned readings from authors Britney Cooper, Audre Lorde, Anna Julia Cooper, Mark Anthony Neal, Patricia Hill Collins and Angela Davis.
Rapsody’s EVE will also be referenced in an upcoming course at The Ohio State University taught by author and Associate Professor of African American and African Studies Simone Drake. Titled “Toni Morrison’s Houses of Women and Rapsody’s EVE,” the college course will examine both Morrison’s writings and EVE as “physical spaces in which Black women disrupt, interrupt, and erupt into societies who conceive of Black women in ways that are both limited and limiting.”
According to The Ohio State University website, Drake’s research and courses focus on “how people of African descent in the Americas negotiate the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class and nation through the lenses of critical race, gender and legal studies.”
Rapsody responded to the two courses and celebrated EVE’s impact with an Instagram post on Tuesday (April 14).
“One of the highest honors is to create art for the culture and have it taught in our educational institutions!” she wrote. “Thank you [Tyler Bunzey] at [University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill] and Simone Drake at [The Ohio State University].”
Rapsody’s EVE featured collaborations with Leikeli47, K. Roosevelt, D’Angelo, GZA, Mereba, Elle Varner, SiR, JID, Queen Latifah, J. Cole and PJ Morton. It served as a follow-up to her 2017 Grammy-nominated album Laila’s Wisdom.