Majoring in Miley? Not just yet, but a college in upstate New York is getting one step closer.
The Saratogian newspaper reports that Skidmore College, a private liberal arts college in Saratoga Springs is offering a summer course on all things Miley Cyrus called “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media.”
“You can study a lot of things based on Miley,” said visiting assistant professor Carolyn Chernoff, who is teaching the course. “She represents how transient wealth and fame can be, and shows how possible it is to change your image.”
The pop star will be used as a way to discuss the performance of gender (along with other Disney child stars, as “they’ve all had to rebrand themselves as wild, crazy, sexual beings … this ties into the whole virgin/whore dichotomy”) and race: “Miley is white but wants to appropriate a black sound,” Chernoff said. “She doesn’t discuss her white privilege.”
The idea for the course first came as Chernoff was teaching a class on youth culture, during which she screened a video of Cyrus’ twerking spectacle at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. A positive reaction in the classroom led to a lecture at the college’s Women’s Center, which turned into the summer course.
Skidmore’s upcoming study of Cyrus follows the recently announced Beyonce-centered course at Rutgers University, which compares the singer’s lyrics to the black feminist movement and explores her control over her image. Jay Z is the subject of a course at Georgetown University, and Bruce Springsteen’s works are examined in a theology course, also at Rutgers.
by Ashley Lee