COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 29: Harry Styles performs on the Main Stage at War Memorial Park on May 29, 2022 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

Harry Styles is busy! He’s performing at the Grammys on Sunday. He split his pants while performing in front of his childhood crush, Jennifer Aniston, who was in the front row of his show in Los Angeles. And now there is a Harry Styles college course.

The spring 2023 semester at Texas State University features a course devoted to Mr. Styles.

As reports, the class, called “Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet and European Pop Culture,” filled up just two minutes after registration went live. But it’s not like the students sit around all day watching his videos. “It’s not just that we’re going to study Harry Styles and nothing else,” associate professor Louie Dean Valencia said. “In the same way you could probably learn about The Beatles to understand the 1960s, you could study Harry Styles to learn about the world today.”

Valencia, a historian, decided to write a book about Harry during the lockdown in 2020, which led to him developing the class concept. Valencia thinks it’s important for the course to focus on recent history.

“A lot of times [students] don’t know what actually happened in 2010,” the year One Direction formed, Valencia notes. “This gives them the opportunity to have a better idea of what was happening, that they maybe weren’t paying attention to, but, anchoring in subjects that are interesting to them, that they can actually relate to what was going on at the time in their own life.”

The first week of the course began with a discussion of the history of rock music and how Harry is following in the footsteps of icons like David BowiePrince, and Elvis Presley. At the end of the semester, the students will release a podcast series.

The Harry class isn’t the only pop-culture-based class at Texas State, either: courses about baseball, hip-hop culture, and video games are also offered.


Happy 93rd Birthday Gene Hackman: His Top 5 Movies

One of the greatest actors of all time and my favorite actor, Gene Hackman is a retired actor and novelist. Gene was born 93 years ago today, January 30, 1930, in California. He is known for his roles in multiple films and won two Academy Awards for his performances in “The French Connection” and “Unforgiven.” He retired from acting in 2004. While I love just about every Hackman film, here are the five that I enjoy most.

  • The Royal Tenenbaums

    “The Royal Tenenbaums” is a 2001 dark comedy film directed by Wes Anderson and starring Hackman as Royal Tenenbaum, the patriarch of a dysfunctional family of former child prodigies. The film also stars Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, and Owen Wilson. The film received positive reviews and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Hackman’s portrayal of Royal as a charming yet selfish and estranged father, who tries to reconnect with his family, was widely praised, and he was nominated for a Golden Globe award for his performance. The film is considered a cult classic and has a strong following among fans of independent cinema.

  • The Birdcage

    “The Birdcage” is a 1996 American comedy film directed by Mike Nichols and starring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest, and Hank Azaria. The film is a remake of the 1978 French film “La Cage aux Folles.” The film tells the story of a gay couple, played by Williams and Lane, who own a drag club in South Beach, Miami. When the son of one of the men announces his engagement to the daughter of a conservative politician, played by Hackman, they must pretend to be a straight, conventional family in order to impress future in-laws. Hackman plays the father of the bride, a conservative senator, and his performance was widely praised by critics. The film was a box office success and received positive reviews from critics.

  • The Poseidon Adventure

    “The Poseidon Adventure” is a 1972 American disaster film directed by Ronald Neame and starring Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, and Shelley Winters. The film tells the story of a group of passengers on an ocean liner, the SS Poseidon, who are stranded when a giant wave capsizes the ship on New Year’s Eve. Hackman plays Reverend Scott, a character who is a former minister who lost his faith in God and becomes a leader among the survivors, helping them to escape the ship. The film was a commercial and critical success and was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Hackman’s performance in the film was also well-received by critics. The Poseidon Adventure is considered a classic disaster film and is known for its elaborate special effects and suspenseful action sequences.

  • The Firm

    “The Firm” is a 1993 legal thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, and Holly Hunter. The film is based on the 1991 novel of the same name by John Grisham. The story follows a young lawyer, played by Cruise, who joins a prestigious law firm in Memphis, only to discover that the firm is involved in illegal activities. Hackman plays the role of senior partner, Avery Tolar, who is the head of the firm and one of the main antagonists of the story. His performance was well-received by critics, and he was nominated for a Golden Globe award for his role in the film. The film was a commercial and critical success, grossing over $158 million worldwide and receiving positive reviews from critics.

  • Hoosiers

    My favorite Gene Hackman movie is “Hoosiers” a 1986 sports film starring Gene as Norman Dale, a new coach for a high school basketball team in small-town Indiana. The film is inspired by the story of the 1954 Milan High School basketball team, which won the state championship. Hackman’s portrayal of Dale was well-received, and the film is considered a classic in the sports genre. It was nominated for two Academy Awards, including one for Hackman’s performance.


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