Weekly Update 34
October 28, 2022
We were still swooning over 'Midnights' and the mastermind that is Taylor Swift when found out that Rihanna is dropping new music too, after a six-year gap. It's really happening — RiRi's new track from 'Black Panther 2' has been released — and WE. CANT. STOP. LISTENING.
Our top stories this week:
🎤 From the politics of Beyoncé to the sociology of Miley Cyrus, college courses exploring music artists' works are cropping up.
⭐ Celebrities constantly tell stories that spark essential moral, political, economic, and cultural conversations.
📚 Universities are making the most of celebs' roles to be relevant to GenZ, growing increasingly skeptical of 4-year degrees.
Swifties, assemble… for college
👩🎤 New York University has a new course on Taylor Swift's still-developing music legacy.
🤓 The University of Texas-Austin also announced 'The Taylor Swift Songbook' course enabling students to explore her work alongside the works of Shakespeare and Robert Frost.
💽 Required materials? Swift's recent albums and a streaming music app.
Studying Kanye West and his latest controversy
🎓 A professor who previously taught two Ye-inspired courses plans to launch a 3rd one at the University of Rochester.
✊ The course will explore recent controversies linked to his white evangelical Christianity and anti-Blackness.
🗨️ Montreal's Concordia University's course on Ye explores ideas like 'Kanyetive Dissonance.'
A few honorable mentions
👨🎤 Harry Styles gets one, too. Texas State University's course covers the pop star's impact on the European pop scene, including sexuality, fashion, and fan culture.
📖 UC Berkeley's Nicki Minaj course for Spring 2023 will also critically study her music. The rapper said she'd "love to stop by."
Just a savvy marketing move?
💸 Some say US colleges see students as customers and want to ensure the most appealing packaging, "including modules with cool names."
👎 Conservative commentators have questioned their credibility and called them "a waste of tuition."
📣 However, professors say these courses create conversational entry points on issues such as racism, sexism, queerphobia, sustainability, and gun control.
If you have any feedback, drop it here. Have a great weekend!