Lady Gaga’s influence reaches ASU classrooms

Mother Monster has done it again. A glutton for stirring up controversy with visually stimulating music videos, Lady Gaga has again stirred up fans and the media’s emotions with her latest video, “Yoü and I.”

With the music department at Arizona State adding a course on Lady Gaga to its curriculum this semester, Lady Gaga is becoming more relevant than perhaps even she realizes.

The class, MUS 354-Topic: Lady Gaga, is conducted online and “emphasizes historical, cultural, and performance patterns in a variety of popular idioms such as, but not limited to, rock, folk, jazz, and Afro-American music,” according to the course description found at

The class even has required reading. “Lady Gaga: Behind the Fame” by Emily Herbert and “Lady Gaga: Strange and Beautiful: The Fabulous Style of Lady Gaga” are the books required for the course.

Shannon Lank teaches the class, who noted in her ASU profile that she loves to put history into pop culture context because she feels students have an easier time remembering it that way. Lank is also teaching other course related to pop culture this semester, including WST 220: Gender, Media and Culture and AMS 326: Popular Culture.

The class on Lady Gaga, which had 100 open slots, is the second largest music class to completely fill up, finishing behind the course about the Beatles, which had 855 available slots and is also completely full.

Gaga made headlines two weeks ago for her new “Yoü and I” video. The video was set to premiere on MTV on Aug. 18, but was early, much to the chagrin of the pop idol. According to SheWired, Gaga had no intentions of releasing her video early.

“The early leak sunk Mother Monster’s plans to release the video on Thursday as her 1000th tweet,” said SheWired.

Not to be outdone, Gaga took matters into her own hands as soon as she heard of the leak, sending out a series of four tweets. The last and 1000th tweet containing a link to the video and the encouraging words “You must love all + every part of me, as must I, for this complex + incomprehensible force to be true.”

The Daily Mail responded early to the video, noting that Gaga leaked the video on her own YouTube page. CNN’s Marquee Blog also chimed in, calling “Yoü and I” a standout. “While some of her prior videos for ‘Born This Way’ tracks have had a lukewarm reception, this one holds promise,” said the Marquee Blog.

Rolling Stone shared a similar sentiment, saying that while her last two videos were a disappointment, “Yoü and I” is a “return to form that throws roughly eight million visual ideas at the viewer … At least a handful of Mother Monster’s looks in the video are instantly iconic.”

Included in these looks was Jo Calderone, Gaga’s male persona. Most recently, Calderone was “filling in” for Lady Gaga at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, making headlines across the country along the way.

Viewers will have to judge for themselves. Whether you are a fan of Lady Gaga or not, she is undeniably making her mark on both the media world and ASU community.

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