YOU CAN NOW STUDY THE "POLITICS OF KANYE WEST" AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?
Pop culture is breaking barriers and crossing borders into lands where it never treaded before. The biggest shocker was having Bob Dylan snatch the prestigious Noble prize for Literature. No one saw that coming! Now, Washington University says you can study the Politics of Kanye West right in their university.
The course was crafted to do an in depth study of everything Kanye West and Pop Culture, from the intersections of hip hop and sexuality to the infamous Taylor Swift MTV Video Music Awards moment; targeted to reach students in their own language. Speaking on the course, the lecturer said “It is a good way to get students to connect issues of politics, race, gender, sexuality, and culture.”
Noting how both relevant and timing this would be for his students he said:
Now this is the future of school, bringing relatable realities home that students can connect and relate with. Imagine plating serious issues like politics, race, gender, sexuality, and culture on same table as Kanye West who indeed is the main dish of the course. In the Fall of 2014, the University of Mossouri offered a course on Kanye West and Jay Z’s just around the heat of their ‘Watch the throne’ album. Some Students of the University needed to buy a copy of the ‘Watch the Throne’ album while signing up for the course (English 2169). A Georgetown University offered a course on Jay-Z in 2011. Both figures, Jay Z and Kanye West are big hip hop icons and strong role models for young people.
A similar course was set up at the University of Texas at San Antonio, offering a class on Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ album. Classes centered on pop culture megastars like Bruce Springsteen, Tupac Shakur, Mayin Gaye and others have been taught in colleges in recent years
Bringing this home to Africa, it’s high time we started embracing the reality of the influence our art has on daily lifestyle and culture. As pop culture unofficially makes its way into sacred lands, we might just have to make room for official grand entrances like the ones mentioned above. A course on the ‘Falz’ lingual influence on the average Nigerian should be springing up now or Fela, his Afrobeat and the Nigerian culture, new courses on Funke Akindele, Wizkid or Don Jazzy following. Considering how much influence these icons have on the daily lives of young people, it’s about time African schools harnessed these influences in General Studies, Arts and Social Sciences. Culture must be consciously curated and passed on. Schools must be deliberate about carrying students along. Pop culture is offered as that ready and available medium.