QUEENS, NY - OCTOBER 02: Kanye West performs during The Meadows Music & Arts Festival at Citi Field on October 2, 2016 in Queens, New York. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for The Meadows)
Taylor Hill—Getty Images for The Meadows
By Cady Lang
January 19, 2017

For those looking to discuss the cultural effects of musical artist and Twitter enthusiast Kanye West, Washington University is now teaching a class on the mercurial rapper.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dr. Jeffrey McCune, an associate professor in the African-American Studies and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies departments at the university will teach the course (titled “Politics of Kanye West: Black Genius and Sonic Aesthetics”) and it will focus on how West’s influence in hip hop can be used as a vehicle to explore topics and interests beyond the genre.

The course will tackle everything from the intersections of hip hop and sexuality to the infamous Taylor Swift MTV Video Music Awards moment; McCune also noted that the course is a “good way to get students to connect issues of politics, race, gender, sexuality, and culture.” He also thinks that the timing of the course couldn’t be more relevant given West’s current space in popular culture.

“I knew my students had connections to Kanye,” he said. “They’re always referencing his music and performances and videos and fashion. What better time than now to take seriously Kanye West as a cultural icon? I’m always interested in how he’s pushing whatever boundaries.”

Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com.

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