From the much-anticipated release of “Harry’s House” to separate star features in two upcoming movies this fall, it’d appear that this is the year of Harry Styles.
However, it turns out that 2023 will get even better for the “As It Was” crooner. Following a report via CNN, the Texas State University is to launch a new course aiming to delve deeper into Styles’ works.
The course, titled “Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet, and European Pop Culture,” will be part of the curriculum of the university starting from Spring 2023 and will be taken by Dr. Louie Dean Valencia, an associate professor of digital history at the university.
Read on for more details.
The Course Will Focus On The Works Of Harry Styles
On Saturday, Dr. Valencia announced that he’d be launching and teaching a course, “Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet, and European Pop Culture,” at Texas State University. This course would focus on all his acting roles, song albums, and his work with One Direction.
“It’s official, official. I’m teaching the world’s first-ever university course on the work of #HarryStyles is happening Spring 2023 at @TXST University,” he announced on Twitter. “This is what the tenure looks like. Let’s goooo.”
This is what tenure looks like. Let's gooooo! 😊 pic.twitter.com/1z3vMZoxRV
— Louie Dean Valencia (@BurntCitrus) July 16, 2022
The full description of the course, as shared by Dr. Valencia on Twitter, explained that the singer will be used as a point of study to understand further the popular European culture and “political development of the modern celebrity as related to questions of gender and sexuality, race, class, nation and globalism, media, fashion, fan culture, internet culture, and consumerism.”
The Inspiration Behind The Harry Styles Course
In an interview with NBC New York, Dr. Valencia opened up about the inspiration behind the course. He had always wanted to teach a history class that was both fun and relatable.
“By studying the art, activism, consumerism and fandom around Harry Styles, I think we’ll be able to get to some relevant contemporary issues,” he added. “I think it’s important for young people to see what is important to them reflected in their curriculum.”
He also admitted that the idea for the course came to him during the pandemic. At the time, there were travel restrictions, and he couldn’t travel to do his regular research.
“This class came out of research that I started when locked at home during the summer of 2020 listening to Harry’s music,” he explained. “When I couldn’t travel to do my regular research, I started researching Harry—focusing on his art, the ways masculinity has changed in the last decade, celebrity culture and the internet.”
The Number Of Students Will Be Capped At 20
While fans have expressed excitement about the course on social media, most of them might not be able to get in. “The classes are capped at 20, so we can have in-depth conversations,” Dr. Valencia explained to NBC New York. “There is a lot of demand, and I would love to teach it to a broader audience.”
However, there is one person whom he wishes might join the class– the singer himself.
“My dream would be to have Harry show up to class (or just Zoom) — but I understand how busy he is,” said Valencia. “The one thing I would want Harry to know is that this class doesn’t focus on his personal life, only his art and the things he puts out there.”
Other fans also expressed concerns about infringement of Styles’ privacy, but Dr. Valencia assured fans that class won’t be about his “personal life.”
“The idea of the class is that we’re going to learn about the things that Harry puts out there, and through that lens, learn more about his music, his artistry, and hopefully a little bit about ourselves.”
Harry Styles Is Not The Only Celebrity To Be Studied
Styles is currently on a record breaking streak but he won’t be the first celebrity to have a University course created around him.
Earlier this year, a course based on Taylor Swift was launched at the New York University’s Clive Davis Institute and lectured by Rolling Stones writer Brittany Spanos.
“This course proposes to deconstruct both the appeal and aversions to Taylor Swift through close readings of her music and public discourse as it relates to her growth as an artist and a celebrity,” the course description read, per Variety.
Other universities have also launched unique courses on Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and Lady Gaga.
While some of these courses analyze celebrities’ careers, most of them investigate their work’s societal and cultural impact.