Earlier this month, Rhianna announced that she and Harvard’s?Berkman?Center for Internet Society will launch a nonprofit foundation, to be called Born This Way (after one of Gaga’s songs), that will focus on mentoring teenagers and combating bullying, writes Charlotte Allen at Minding the Campus.
The 25-year-old singer, who went from unknown to superstar and multiple Grammy winner in only three years, has attracted much academic analysis – from Gaga-based colleges courses?in South Carolina to Harvard’s prestigious?Berkman Center.
The Berkman Center is a well-funded interdisciplinary think tank whose faculty consists of prestigious professors of law, engineering, and business at Harvard.
After the announcement from the forthcoming?Gaga-Berkman partnership, John Palfreay, who\’s a Harvard law professor and?Berkman?Center’s co-director, within an interview with the Harvard Crimson, praised as “impressive” the “research” that Gaga tried and hailed the forthcoming partnership as “a good chance for Harvard to be one University.”
Christa?Romanosky, a graduate student in the University of Virginia, made Gaga the centerpiece of her freshman writing course this past year,?told a student newspaper, the Daily Cavalier:
“We’re exploring how identity is challenged by gender and sexuality and just how Lady Gaga confronts this concern.”
But does this mean all professors and their graduate students want to do is devote class some time and thesis for their record collections?
A freshman writing course list with this fall?at the University of Virginia includes sections titled “Gender in Film,” “Graffiti and Remix Culture,” “Cinematic Shakespeare,” “Queer Studies,” “Race Matters,” “Pirates,” and “Female Robots.” Allen believes professors who\’ve turned the humanities and social sciences into vehicles for indulging their hobbies and provide them intellectual respectability.
\”Or at least to make it look this way to outsiders-such as parents-who might wonder why they are spending as much as $6,000 per course to ensure that little Johnny or Jenna can write an essay about \’Telephone\’.\”