There Is Now A College Course Dedicated To Kanye West
Whether you love him, loathe him, or have a completely neutral opinion on him, there is no denying that rapper, producer, artist and fashion designer Kanye West is one of the most famous and most frequently talked about superstars in the world of celebrity. Without realizing it, your knowledge of the Chicago born star might already be an impressive above average, but thanks to Professor Jeffrey McCune at Washington University, you can now turn that knowledge in to a fully-fledged qualification by enrolling in a college class that is dedicated to the man himself and every encompassing element of his public and personal persona.
Mr McCune, who is an associate professor in the African and African-American Studies and the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies departments at Washington University, is the man responsible for putting the unusual class on the roster. He has expressed his feelings that West's impact on black culture during his time in the public eye has been phenomenal, and warrants a course of study so that students interested in modern black culture can fully immerse themselves in the history. Speaking in an interview with Time magazine, Professor McCune defended his arguably eccentric course, explaining that it will be “a good way to get students to connect issues of politics, race, gender, sexuality and culture”.
He continues to give justification for the invention of the course, stating “I always wanted to teach a course looking at black genius and the impossibility of black genius for the American public … hip-hop is a way to show our creative genius. Kanye really uses hip-hop as a vehicle to display all of his talents, albeit some better than others”.
This course is an extensive 14-week long venture, and is said to include special classes with titles along the lines of ‘Touch The Sky, When The Aspirant Turns Genius', ‘Who Is Kanye West And Why Is His Name In Flashing Lights?' and ‘I Love Kanye, Or How Critique Slips In To Hate'. Not to mention, an entire lecture that touches on the infamous incident when a drunken West interrupted Taylor Swift's MTV Award acceptance speech, and how it sparked the beginning of a swaying of the tide with regards to his media popularity and reputation.
Professor McCune found inspiration for the course through regular interactions with his students, explaining “I knew my students had connections to Kanye. They're always referencing his music and performances and videos and fashion … what better time than now to take seriously Kanye West as a cultural icon? I'm always interested in how he's pushing whatever boundaries.”
Though time will tell whether the decision to dedicate a 14-week class to Kanye West was worth it, there is no doubting that the divisive pop culture figure has made an impact on the world, arguably more so than any other black celebrity outside of the White House in the last decade. It could be argued that in order to keep subjects like African American studies fresh, it is just as important to reflect on contemporary figures of color as it is to celebrate the pioneers of civil rights throughout history. After all, it is through the actions of these historical heroes that African American culture has been allowed to grow and develop into what it is today, with hip-hop being one of the must consumed genres and music in the world and Mr Kanye West being at the forefront of it.