Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

Cándida Jáquez

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Rights Information

© 2019 Saif Saigol


Janelle Monáe is a pop superstar whose Afrofuturist art is paving the way for a new revolution of popular music. An investigation into her oeuvre reveals an artform that ­relies on technological aesthetics and science-fiction narratives as a critical lens through which capitalism and its racist, sexist, homophobic, and hegemonic tendencies are clearly revealed. Monáe displays a masterful understanding of social hierarchy and power imbalances, and uses her music as a form of resistance to those heterosexist, white-supremacist institutions that attempt to reduce Monáe to the profitability of her body and culture. Situating herself as a visible and celebrated queer black musician and activist, Monáe uses her voice to provide political commentary on present-day America, through imagined future dystopias. Her seamless synthesis of black music genres and aesthetics allows for a unified musical project that is accessible, socially informed, powerful, and impactful.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.