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Jul 29 2017
by Caroline Moll

Yeezy Taught Me: 5 Colleges Where You Can Take a Class On Kanye West

By Caroline Moll - Jul 29 2017

Recently, unique college courses have been popping up at schools everywhere. There is simply nowhere else (aside from the internet) you can learn something new about topics from underwater basket weaving to the possibility of alien life. But a seemingly growing trend amongst new courses seems to be the studying of pop culture icons. And who better to represent pop culture than one of the most critically acclaimed artists of our generation, Kanye West?

So to many prospective students who may be wondering just where they can take courses on Mr. West himself, here are a few possibilities for you.

1. Washington University in St. Louis

The spotlight from many online bloggers and news sources has been recently shining on Jeffrey McCune, an associate professor from WUSL who just this year decided to start running a course named “The Politics of Kanye West: Black Genius and Sonic Aesthetics.” That’s quite the mouthful, but we’re sure Kanye himself would approve of it.

2. Georgia State University

An American poetry class with a twist, “Kanye West vs. Everybody” gets students interested in poetry on a new level, as stated by English professor at GSU, Scott Heath. Rap connects the art of music to the art of poetry, an idea that Heath had in mind using West as a basis for the curriculum.

3. Duke University

What can be simply put as "Kanye 101," a course offered at Duke University uses Kanye as a focus for studying the success of pop culture icons and their mentality. The course is not just an overview of history and star’s influence, but is meant to “encourage students to embody their inner Kanye.” Not all just a hip hop karaoke party, the course focuses on multiple areas of study including sociology and psychology.

4. University of California Berkeley 

Students at UC Berkeley are given the chance to study Kanye’s work as both a producer and rapper, looking deeply into his progression as an artist. "Can't Tell Me Nothing: The Development of Kanye West's Artistry" is an option for students looking for a course in sociology. From College Dropout, all the way to Life of Pablo, Kanye superfans have the opportunity to analyze themes throughout his music for a wider understanding of his “creative intentions.”

5. Tufts University

On Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:30, Tufts students can enroll in “Kanye West & The Poetics of Excess.” The course follows Kanye’s progression as a poet through his songs, as well as looking at his tweets, fashion brand and general disposition as they relate to other forms of American poetry. Who better to represent “excess” living than the self-proclaimed god himself?

In short, the limits of what one may study while at school are seemingly endless. Whether you're a hip-hop lover or just interested in analyzing pop-culture icons, these schools may be for you. Professors each have their reasons for starting up these courses at their schools. All agree, however, that Mr. West and his work can be analyzed as a symbol for something greater than just party music and cool shoes, so why not take advantage? Maybe there is a broader lesson to be taken from the star himself, however ludicrous it may seem at first. After all, name one genius that ain't crazy.

Lead Image Credit: Super 45 | Música Independiente via Flickr Creative Commons

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Caroline Moll - Endicott College

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