Anyone wanting to broaden their knowledge about Harry Styles and the influence he has on fashion, pop culture and music can enroll in a new college course called “Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity” at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
This is not the first time a pop star will be the topic of a college-level course.
In 2022, New York University offered a course on Taylor Swift, while in 2010 the University of South Carolina offered a course on Lady Gaga. In 2011, Georgetown University had a course that focused on Jay-Z lyrics; in 2014 there was a Miley Cyrus course at Skidmore College. Other courses have covered artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Sean Combs, Kanye West and even Michael Jackson.
Why Is a Harry Styles Course Being Taught at Texas State University?
Dr. Louie Dean Valencia, associate professor of digital history, is a huge fan of the British pop star. He began following his career when Harry debuted as a member of One Direction and began researching more about him while he was home during the lockdowns of 2020. Dr. Valencia broke the news about the course on his social media accounts this past weekend.
Dr. Valencia told KXAN:
“As a historian, I want the class to get to really see how the world has changed in the last 12 years or so, but also how to put that into historical context, through the lens of Harry Styles, and how they can learn from him and his art, activism, and philosophy, like any great artist.”
It took a while to get the course approved by the education board at the university. Valencia had to prepare a 23-page proposal describing what the course would look like and what the course will cover and present it to a peer group of other university professors.
What Topics Will the Harry Styles Course Cover?
The Harry Styles course will not focus on his public life but will focus on Harry Styles and popular European culture to understand the cultural 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. Students will also study his solo and One Direction albums, as well as his films.
Who Is eligible to Take the Harry Styles Course?
The course will be offered during the Spring 2023 semester and registration will begin this fall. The course will be offered through the Honors College at Texas State University. If you are not a student and would like to apply for the course, you may do so here.