“Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet and European Pop Culture,” will be taught by Associate Professor of Digital History Dr. Louie Dean Valencia.
He excitedly shared the news on social media, writing, “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 (see description). This is what tenure looks like. Let’s gooooo!” along with a smiling face emoji.
This is what tenure looks like. Let’s gooooo! 😊 pic.twitter.com/1z3vMZoxRV
— Louie Dean Valencia (@BurntCitrus) July 16, 2022
A course description offers more details on what the coursework will include.
The credited honors college course will reportedly focus on Styles’ music and “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.”
Completing the class counts toward Honors Studies, History (European or World), International Studies/European Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Diversity Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies.
Professor Valencia told Austin-based NBC affiliate KXAN that he’s a “huge fan” of Styles, which inspired him to lead the class.
“As an 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,” he said.
The class will center on Styles but will ultimately be a broader conversation about culture, the professor told CNN.
“I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with students over the last two years that started with a shared love of Harry’s music, but that quickly went into larger societal questions about gender, sexuality, race, gun control, sustainability because of Harry’s art,” Valencia told the publication.
“Self-expression, and comfort with oneself, is a big part of Harry’s message — along with treating people with kindness,” he continued. “A lot of people, myself included, feel like they’ve grown up with him — and so there is a connection.”
Styles is a 28-year-old English singer, songwriter, and actor. He launched his musical career as a contestant on the competition reality show “The X Factor” in 2010 and has since been topping the charts with singles such as “Watermelon Sugar” and “As It Was.”
The musician is known for his flamboyant way of dressing, often wearing ball gowns, nail polish, sheer shirts, and high heels. He’s the first man to appear on the cover of Vogue solo. While Styles refuses to label his sexuality, he’s a huge proponent of LGBT causes.