Fortunately for all of us, the OWN mogul just announced the Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend, a two-day transformational conference coming to eight cities this fall. She’ll be joined by some of her influential pals, including Deepak Chopra (in select cities), Iyanla Vanzant, Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert and one of Time‘s 100 Most Influential people, Pastor Rob Bell.
She’s not the only star to teach, though—Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Spike Lee, Billy Crystal and James Franco have led classes, too. But celebrities themselves oftentimes take a different role in the world of academia as they become the subjects of university courses. Take a look at these five stars who’ve been studied!
1. Miley Cyrus: This is pretty cool, y’all! Skidmore College, a private New York school, is offering a course this fall on the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana. “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media”, is, per The Saratogian, a 251-level special topics course taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology Carolyn Chernoff.
But don’t get too excited, potential scholars. “Sorry, dudes, but this is sociology,” Assistant Professor Chernoff said. “Learn to twerk on your own time.”
It kinda seems like twerk-off participation should be an option for extra credit, but OK.
2. Sean “Diddy” Combs*: New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts is offering a two-credit college course on Sean Combs & Urban Culture. According to the course description, the class “will investigate the social and cultural and political changes of the 1990s and how Sean Combs was catapulted to success by those changes” to interret, discuss and dissect “the brilliance, tragedy, strategy and serial entrepreneurship of Sean Combs.”
He does know a thing or two about music, marketing and being a mogul.
*While Mr. Combs might want us to call him Puff Daddy again, but he will soon learn that his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook handles need to be updated in order for this change to go into effect. #sorrydiddy
3. Lady Gaga: In 2011, the University of South Carolina offered a course titled “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of the Fame.” Malia Griggs blogged about her experience in the class for the Huffington Post, calling it “a serious course about the sociology of music” that delves into “the social conditions that contribute to the fame of Lady Gaga.”
According to Ms. Griggs, the professor “has background in the sociology of law and cultural anthropology” and “has a fan site for Gaga.”
Gamecocks (actual mascot) must be gaga for Gaga.
4. Jay Z and Kanye West: Mizzou, aka the University of Missouri, offered a 2013 class on these hip-hop greats. According to English 2169, Jay Z and Kanye West’s course description, the class looks at the life and work of the rappers’ from three persepctives: “(1) Where do they fit within, and how do they change, the history of hip-hop music? (2) How is what they do similar to and different from what poets do?, and (3) How does their rise to both celebrity and corporate power alter what we understand as the American dream?”
Interestingly enough, Kanye’s 2004 album The College Dropout marked the beginning of his lustrous mainstream career. Hov, on the other hand, considers himself a grad of the School of Hard Knocks.
5. Beyoncé: If there’s anyone on this earth worthy of study, it’s Queen Bey! Rutgers University understands this, and in 2012, Kevin Allred, a doctoral student and lecturer in the’ Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, taught a course titled “Politicizing Beyoncé.” According to Rutgers’ website, the class looked at how Mrs. Carter’s “music and career are used as lenses to explore American race, gender, and sexual politics.”
Course topics “include the extent of Beyoncé’s control over her own aesthetic, whether her often half-naked body is empowered or stereotypical, and her more racy performances.”
Sounds like something Bey would approve of! She does “raise a glass for the college grads” in “Run the World (Girls),” you know.
Cheers to that. Do remember, though, as Jay Z puts it, “You can pay for school but you can’t buy class!” Follow @Infocelebrity on Twitter!
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