For anyone that has ever wanted to study the countless contributions Lana Del Rey has made to the modern pop landscape — and earn college credit while you're at it — your time has come.
Starting next month, New York University's Clive Davis Institute is set to offer a course dedicated to the "Summertime Sadness" singer, her work, influences and the way it relates to various social movements such as Black Lives Matter, Me Too, Times Up, etc. The two-credit course titled “Topics in Recorded Music: Lana Del Rey” is set to run from October 20 through December 8 and will be taught by celebrated journalist and author Kathy Iandoli.
"Over the course of eight critically-acclaimed albums, the six-time Grammy nominated artist has introduced a sad core, melancholic, and baroque version of dream pop that in turn helped shift and reinvent the sound (and mood) of mainstream music beyond the 2010s," the course description reads according to Variety. “Through her arresting visuals and her thematic attention to mental health and tales of toxic, damaged love, Del Rey provided a new platform for artists of all genders to create ‘anti-pop’ works of substance that could live in a mainstream once categorized as bubblegum.”
With nine studio albums, a book of poetry, numerous blockbuster soundtrack contributions and a fair share of tabloid controversy, there's plenty to explore and dissect about Lana Del Rey. “[She] is both a blueprint and a cautionary tale, a complicated pop star who resonates so much with her fans, not because of how she makes them feel about her, but rather how she makes them feel about themselves," Iandoli tells Variety. “She has changed the parameters of baroque pop and now more specifically ‘sad girl pop’ through her music, by expanding the subject matter which at times is controversial and challenging. There are so many pieces in this mosaic that we have now come to know as Lana Del Rey, and this course examines every dimension of it.”
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NYU's new Lana course comes as the latest in a series of classes hosted by the Clive Davis Institute devoted to some of the biggest names in pop today. Earlier this year, NYU offered a course on Taylor Swift exploring "the culture and politics of teen girlhood in pop music, fandom, media studies, whiteness and power as it relates to her image and the images of those who have both preceded and succeeded her."
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