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 β€” RiRi's new track from 'Black Panther 2' has been released β€” 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.

πŸ“š Universities are making the most of celebs' roles to be relevant to GenZ, growing increasingly skeptical of 4-year degrees.

Swifties, assemble… for college

πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ€ New York University has a new course on Taylor Swift's still-developing music legacy.

πŸ€“ 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.

πŸ’½ Required materials? Swift's recent albums and a streaming music app.

Studying Kanye West and his latest controversy

πŸŽ“ 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.

πŸ—¨οΈ Montreal's Concordia University's course on Ye explores ideas like 'Kanyetive Dissonance.'

A few honorable mentions

πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ€ 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.

πŸ“– 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?

πŸ’Έ Some say US colleges see students as customers and want to ensure the most appealing packaging, "including modules with cool names."

πŸ‘Ž Conservative commentators have questioned their credibility and called them "a waste of tuition."

πŸ“£ 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!