A new Lana Del Rey course has been launched at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute.
The course, titled ‘Topics in Recorded Music: Lana Del Rey’, will run from 20 October to 8 December, taught by journalist and author Kathy Iandoli.
The course description (via Variety) reads: “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.
“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.”
Speaking to Variety, Iandoli said that Lana Del Rey is, in many ways, “both a blueprint and a cautionary tale”, adding that she was 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 continued: “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.”
Course objectives included understanding and appreciating Swift as a “creative music entrepreneur”, learning the legacy of pop and country, and looking at “how discourses of youth and girlhood are often exploited in the media and music industries”.
Spanos, who attended NYU, told Variety that she had been covering Swift across her decade-long writing career, adding that she had been a “super fan” even longer.
“It’s such an honour to be able to share my Swiftie expertise with a sharp group of students,” she added. “I hope to help them rethink how to engage with one of the things world’s biggest and sometimes divisive stars, in the same way Clive professors like Jason King, Vivien Goldman and Joe Levy did for me when I took their courses.”