Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Harry Styles, and more feature in college curriculums - Hindustan Times
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From Taylor Swift to Miley Cyrus, Harry Styles and more, students are being taught about these singers in college

ByAbigail banerji
Feb 18, 2024 08:28 PM IST

We take a look at singers who have college courses taught on them, their techniques and marketing

We want to be them, we want to know about them. The quest to find out more about our favourite singers has led several universities around the world to offer courses on them. From vocal technique to music theory, universities are offering specialized courses dedicated to the study of renowned vocalists. Aspiring musicians and enthusiasts alike are delving into the lives and legacies of these iconic singers, unravelling the melodies that shaped generations. We look at some of the biggest names that have college courses that are taught on them.

Taylor Swift(Instgram)
Taylor Swift(Instgram)

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Taylor Swift(Instagram)
Taylor Swift(Instagram)

Taylor Swift

The Blank Space singer will have two courses taught in Harvard University and the University of Florida, titled Taylor Swift and Her World and Musical Storytelling With Taylor Swift and other Iconic Female Artists, respectively. Swift already has courses in the University of Texas, Arizona State University, Stanford University and UC Berkeley, with New York University starting this trend.

Miley Cyrus (Instagram)
Miley Cyrus (Instagram)

Miley Cyrus

In 2014, Skidmore College in New York offered a sociology course that focused on Miley Cyrus. It was titled The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media and Professor Carolyn Chernoff, the course’s instructor, said, “Unfortunately, the way we talk about female pop stars and female bodies, class matters, gender matters, sexuality and sexual performance matters, but race matters a lot [too] and the way we talk about white pop stars is quite different than how we talk about the bodies of women of colour.”

Harry Styles(Instagram)
Harry Styles(Instagram)

Harry Styles

The Texas State University, in July 2022, have began offering a course that teached students all about Harry Styles under the umbrella of the culture of celebrity worship. The course is titled Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet and European Pop Culture. Dr. Louie Dean Valencia, associate professor of digital history, told NBC, “I’ve always wanted to teach a history class that is both fun, but also covers a period that students have lived through and relate to.”

Madonna(Instagram)
Madonna(Instagram)

Madonna

The University of Amsterdam is offering a course on the Material Girl singer, titled Madonna: The Music and the Phenomenon, within its Music department in the 1990’s. Called Madonna Studies, the 65-year-old has an entire study dedicated to her rise to stardom, her music and her life. Academics who dedicated their pursuits to the singer were called Madonna scholars or Madonnologists. They looked at subjects like cultural studies, her influence on films and media, along with feminism, gender and sexuality.

Micheal Jackson(Instagram)
Micheal Jackson(Instagram)

Michael Jackson

The Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta offers a course on later singer Micheal Jackson. Instead of just his music legacy, the course, titled Micheal Jackson: The Business of Music does a deep-dive into the Bille Jean singer as a successful businessman and pop icon. Entertainment attorney James Walker says, “The goal is to help students who have an interest or future desire to work in the entertainment industry [and] to really provide my students with a comprehensive understanding of the music industry and the business mechanics involved.”

Elvis Presley(Instagram)
Elvis Presley(Instagram)

Elvis Presley

Considered the King of Rock and Roll, his life and music is the source of a lot of study. In 1992, the University of Iowa offered a three-credit course titled American Popular Arts: Elvis as Anthology. It highlighted Presley's work in both music and movies. At that time, Professor Peter Nazareth said, "This is not a frivolous course by any means. Everything starts somewhere. My attitude is that there's always a beginning."

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