Some Texas college students will soon be able to take a class about pop superstar Harry Styles.
WHERE IS THE HARRY STYLES CLASS BEING TAUGHT?
Texas State University in San Marcos is offering a "Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet and European Pop Culture" course next spring.
The class will be taught by Associate Professor of Digital History Dr. Louie Dean Valencia. He posted about it on social media over the weekend, where Harry's fans (aka the "Stylers") quickly shared the news.
"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," Valencia said. "By studying the art, activism, consumerism and fandom around Harry Styles, I think we’ll be able to get to some very relevant contemporary issues. I think it’s so important for young people to see what is important to them reflected in their curriculum."
WHAT WILL THE HARRY STYLES COURSE TEACH STUDENTS?
The course will focus on Styles' music, in addition to the cultural and political development of the modern celebrity in terms of gender and sexuality, race, class, fashion and more.
"This class came out of research that I started when locked at home during the summer of 2020 listening to Harry’s music," Valencia said. "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."
As part of the course, students will study Styles' solo albums, all of the One Direction albums, as well as his films. The class will create a podcast series as part of their final project.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO TAKE THE HARRY STYLES COLLEGE CLASS?
The course is offered through the Honors College at Texas State. Those who aren't students in the Honors College may apply here.
"The classes are capped at 20, so we can have in-depth conversations," said Valencia. "There is a lot of demand, and I would love to teach it to a broader audience."
Registration begins in the fall of 2022 and Honors students get early registration, Valencia said.
All Things Harry
WILL HARRY MAKE AN APPEARANCE IN THIS CLASS?
It's not planned, but you never know what could happen.
"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."
Valencia plans to one day publish a book on the topic.
"Some people think a class like this is silly or frivolous," said Valencia. "Just like a class about the Beatles, Cervantes, Alexandre Dumas or Virginia Woolf can tell us something about the world they lived in, a class on Harry Styles can tell us something about not just ourselves, but our world around us."
Again, registration begins this fall and the "Harry Styles" course will be held in Spring 2023.