NYU Offers Course in ‘California’ Singer Lana Del Rey

The fall class will examine Del Rey’s place in the pop canon, her influences, and her involvement in various social movements
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Take a deep dive into the Los Angeles chanteuse Lana Del Ray this fall at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute with a two-credit course called “Topics in Recorded Music: Lana Del Rey,” according to Variety. The class is taught by journalist and author Kathy Iandoli and runs from October 20 to December 8.

The course will go from the wide-ranging—examining where Del Rey fits in the 21st century pop canon—to her musical influences as well as those she has influenced.

The syllabus moves beyond her music, as well, looking at the artist through the lens of her feminism, and exploring her role in social justice movements like #BlackLlivesMatter, #MeToo and #TimesUp.

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.

Earlier this year, the Clive Davis Institute offered a course on Taylor Swift.

New York native Del Rey moved to Los Angeles in 2012, as part of a larger group of musicians she knew moving to the city, including her longtime collaborator, producer and songwriter, Dan Heath.

“I’m very liberal and I always have been,” she told C Magazine of her move to Los Angeles. “I also really love the organic lifestyle and all the outdoor activities. I’m a real happy transplant.”

Her memorable song, “L.A. Who Am I To Love You,” includes the lyrics, “L.A., I’ve got nothing, who am I to love you when I’m feeling this way and I’ve got nothing to offer?”

Del Rey owns multiple properties in the Los Angeles area.


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