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Apr 06, 2017 07:09 AM EDT

Pop culture has provided colleges and universities with interesting material for students to gain knowledge about different ideas and perspectives. Works by artists, books and even musicals have been subject to in-depth investigation by students on their meaning.

One example is "Hamilton" the musical, which lets students at Northwestern University learn about economic concepts like income inequality and economic freedom as well as history. Pop culture games like "Pokémon GO" and "Humans vs. Zombies" have also been used in classes at the University of Idaho.

The songs of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga have been used as course material at Rutgers University and the University of South Carolina, respectively. Literary works by George R.R. Martin ("Game of Thrones") and J.K. Rowling ("Harry Potter") were used at the University of Louisville and the University of Maryland, respectively.

USA Today College shared more pop culture courses offered by various universities and colleges in the U.S. The list includes artists like Tupac Shakur, Kanye West and Outkast.

Tupac Shakur

The University of Washington has offered the course entitled "The Textual Appeal of Tupac Shakur." It is taught by Professor Georgia M. Roberts and explores the philosophical, historical and literary influences of the rapper/activist.

Kanye West

The controversial artist has also become course material for University of Washington course "The Politics of Kanye West: Black Genius and Sonic Aesthetics." Mr. West is seen as a case study for interrogating the interplay between fame, gender, sexuality and race.


Regina Bradley, a Language, Literature and Philosophy professor at Armstrong State University, introduced the course named "OutKast and the Rise of the Hip-Hop South" to her students. It will focus on how the group's ideas about the South and southerness influenced other Southern writers.

Zombie Apocalypse Survival

Zombies and the apocalypse they bring have become a quite popular theme for movies and books. Professor Glenn R. Stusky of Michigan State teaches the course "Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse - Disasters, Catastrophes and Human Behavior."

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