WASHINGTON – University of Maryland students will have the chance to fold their starstruck love for Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Nicki Minaj into their coursework next semester.
The university’s Women Studies Department will offer an elective, “Advanced Special Topics in Women’s Studies: Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Nicki Minaj: Gender and Spectacular Consumption.”
Students will study the cultural obsession with star’s clothes, fashion and performances, Professor Jeffrey McCune told The Diamondback, the school’s independent daily paper.
McCune created the class that serves as a diversity credit. He says the course will also explore the three singers’ tendencies to shatter gender norms in music.
For example, one of Beyonce’s best-selling singles is titled “If I Were a Boy.” And fans of rapper Nicki Minaj know she employs her so-called alter-ego, Roman Zolanski, to add a male perspective to her songs.
“This trio of women seem to be entering into a historic moment where we’re seeing much more experimental performances,” McCune told the paper. “Much more abstraction, much more play with gender, and we’re also seeing some moments where there are clear articulations of a feminist theory within the work.”
It’s the first class for Terps where celebrity names are used in the title of the course.
Junior Emma O’Hara weighs in on the class open to 35 lucky students.
“Because there’s a funny title, they’ll make sure that it’s still a legit class,” she said. “It’s unique, but you still have to be willing to put in the work.”