University to offer ‘world’s first’ course on Harry Styles. No, seriously

Harry Styles performs on the Main Stage at War Memorial Park in a purple sequinned dress

Harry Styles fans will soon be able to study everything there is to know about the One Direction singer as part of a university degree.

Texas State University is planning to offer the first ever course on Styles, in spring 2023.

Associate professor of digital history Louie Dean Valencia announced the new course, titled “Harry Styles and the cult of celebrity: identity, the internet, and European pop culture,” in a post on Twitter on 16 July.

For those who want to learn the art of wearing dangly earrings, eating cod sperm and oral sex, this course is for you.

The Styles class will focus on the 28-year-old’s work, in both music and film, to “understand the cultural and political development in modern celebrity”.

It’s a course Valencia said will explore questions of “gender and sexuality, race, class, nation and globalism, media, fashion, dan culture, internet culture and consumerism”.

The coursework will count towards studies in European or world history, international studies, women’s and gender studies, pop culture and diversity.

Both honours uni students and non-honours students will be able to apply.

Harry Styles university course will focus on the musician’s ‘art’

Valencia told Dazed and Confused students will take a deep dive into Styles’ catalogue as well as authors such as Susan Sontag and Bethan Roberts. They’ll even flip through comics to get to know the inspiration behind Styles’ character, Eros, in Marvel’s Eternals.

“Harry is the only musician I’d considered doing such a course on. His work has been part of my life since the early One Direction days,” Valencia said.

“One Direction got me through my PhD work, and his solo work got me through a pandemic! I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing such a course with someone else.”

He came up with the idea of the course during the early throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, with chats with students about the “Watermelon Sugar” hitmaker leading to deeper conversations about everything from self-love to the environment.

Valencia is already more than qualified to teach about Styles. And he’s set to see the icon for gigs in Madrid, Spain, and Austin, Texas. That’s after he saw the dedicated Styles fashion exhibit in London, England.

The academic definitely isn’t alone in being a major fan of Styles, considering how well the course went down on Twitter.

“One woman who was 75 years old reached out to me and left me a voice message expressing her desire to learn about how the world has changed in the last decade or so,” Valencia said.

“It was really touching to hear. For those who can’t attend our classes, we will be developing a podcast series as part of the course, which hopefully will give people a chance to be part of it.”

While Valencia hasn’t got around to chatting about the course with Styles himself yet, he hopes people understand what the module is about. It’s not about Styles’ personal life – it’s about his “arts”.

“In the same way, I believe a class about the Beatles can tell us something about the 1960s, I think a class anchored in the issues important to Harry can tell us something about our world today,” he said.