You can study for a first class degree in… Harry Styles. And why not? | Alex Clark

AIn all of his fashion choices, Harry Styles has shown a penchant for pearls, which is probably the right thing, because the latest news about Styles is tight. It is known that, from next spring, Texas State University will offer a course called Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet and European Pop Culture.

That’s the opinion of Dr Louie Dean Valencia, a professor of corporate history, who used most of the illness to write a book on Styles. His course will focus on how the singer and actor’s work relates to contemporary celebrity and “questions of gender and sexuality, race, class, ethnicity and globalism.” , media, fashion, fan culture, internet culture, and consumerism”. Which, of course, is important to cover.

After the announcement of the class, Valencia added that the 20 selected students will also study “difficult skills” such as basic analysis and audio editing and – with a hint of wryness – ” how to manage an online advertising campaign”.

Traditionalists can raise their eyes to a training course that is very pleasant, but famous studies – there are similar ones in other places in the US in Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Beyoncé – have been done in the smallest variables for the duration of the event itself. which, as Deadly Famean interesting book by the historian Greg Jenner, from the 1700s.

Jenner makes a distinction between the popular and the notoriety, arguing that newspapers appear every day, and a public space where actions can be reported and discussed. and those who know it, it is a sign of the coming of the latter.

Harry Styles, who won a Brit Award last year for his single, Watermelon Sugar. Photo: JMEnternational for Brit Awards/Getty Images

Sitting down to work on the book after the death of David Bowie and the “plunge of grief” that followed, he wrote, “I saw the expansion of popular culture: how what it means to us; how we design popular businesses against our interests; how we eat negative language with a combination of isolation and strong emotional investment; and it is also useful as a social label that binds us together with voyeuristic interest.

Indeed, Styles fits the bill; when I asked for the inside track from my 16-year-old twin daughters, who were booked for nine hours in Dublin in order to secure the best place at her concert, supported only by their mother in handing out chips, i got it. a series of distant WhatsApp messages, much longer than this section. It ended with information about the star’s upcoming projects, and a warning that they would be “hush-hush”. I consider myself D-noticed.

In a week that saw the continuation of the decimation of people in the UK – the University of Roehampton, for example, this September felt that completed his English literature, film, art, philosophy and linguistics degreeamong others – the idea of ​​building a course based on an image of popular culture is in conflict with the government that believes that a line should be drawn between learning and with work (which is impossible).

The truth is that those who want to be educated “must” be the same as the students sitting in a language department learning Anglo-Saxon (me, 35 years ago nei, sad) as they are with an American. group of 21st-century college students watching the music of Watermelon Sugar and Harry advertising for Gucci.

The ability to read The Dream of the Car in the cause of intrinsically more value than a deep dive into the appeal of a popular image of the present and what does it tell us about the world? (“The royal tree is adorned / With stones; but I could see beyond that gold / The ancient strife of wretched men”, in Richard Hamer’s translation, seems appropriate.)

This is the kind of question that confuses the establishment of a hierarchy of works of art. Oh Middlemarch Better than a Mills & Boon? Yes. Is it interesting to think about creating and hosting a Mills & Boon in relation to the wider culture? of course. Who should I read? As you like, because books, art, music and everything are not signs of wisdom or high morals, they are only good sources of light and fun. You may get both Middlemarchbut not if you hate it.

A final story about Dr Valencia: his joy and happiness with his upcoming classes, as mentioned on social media, is very contagious. This, one could argue, is more valuable – and, the more we cut back on the humanities, the more difficult it is to maintain – than it really is.

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