Kanye West, self-proclaimed “Yeezus,” is everywhere. Turn on the radio and you’re likely to hear “Gold-digger” or “Bound 2.” Walk past the magazine stand in any store, and you’re sure to see the still popular photos from his wedding to Kim Kardashian. Now, you may be required to read about him and his “cultural impact” in class.
Julius Bailey, a philosophy professor at Wittenberg University in Chicago put together a textbook of essays about Mr. West titled, “The Cultural Impact of Kanye West.” The book “considers how West both challenges religious and moral norms and propagates them.” It is divided into three sections:Revisiting the Pharmakon: Artistic Gifts/Human Complexities, Unpacking Hetero-normativity and Complicating Race and Gender, and Theorizing the Aesthetic, the Political, and the Existential.
The textbook is available on Amazon for $78.85. Bailey is also the author of “Philosophy and Hip-Hop: Ruminations on Postmodern Cultural Form,” as well as the editor of “Jay-Z: Essays on Hip Hop’s Philosopher King.”
In this past year alone, there has been a rise of philosophy classes created based on celebrities and the impact they have on society. Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, introduced a course titled: “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender, and Media.” Rutgers University in New Jersey is now offering a course on Queen Bey called: “Politicizing Beyonce.”
Other celebrities that have been studied in college courses include: Madonna, Lady Gaga, Drew Barrymore, and Oprah.