Occidental College's 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Course Is Just What The World's Been Missing
Of all the television shows that could be bestowed with their own college class — Buffy the Vampire Slayer , The Simpsons , The O.C. , Six Feet Under — the last I would have ever guessed is this one. But that's the greatest thing about life: Sometimes, just sometimes, the unexpected becomes reality. That's why Los Angeles liberal arts university Occidental College is offering a course on RuPaul's Drag Race , which seeks to "immerse students in the significance and politics" of the long-running Logo series. Now when you spend a whole weekend watching RuPaul marathons, you can just say it's for school!
According to the course description, which is posted on the school's website:
Reading RuPaul: Camp Culture, Gender Insubordination, and the Politics of PerformanceThis course introduces methods in Queer Theory and Feminist Theory by taking as the central object of study the reality competition show "RuPaul’s Drag Race." As the show brings the art of drag performance and issues attendant to contemporary queer subcultures to a wide audience, the course will consider how it addresses histories of drag and U.S. gay culture, as well as a broad range of issues such as transgender identity, HIV/AIDS, bullying and violence, racial identity, gender identity, body size, and LGBT political activism. Students will consider claims about the transformative, recuperative, and empowering art of drag performance. The course will draw from readings on the history of sexuality, feminist critiques of gender identity, transgender affect and embodiment, the history of race and racial identity, and drag and the politics of camp. Emphasis Topic: Feminist and Queer StudiesCORE REQUIREMENT MET: U.S. DIVERSITY and UNITED STATES
In other words: Just because it's a class about a reality show, don't expect to just be sitting around all day watching RuPaul reruns and making snappy comments like "Ex-squeeze me?"
You can still do all that, of course — as long as you finish the actual work for the class too, and probably write a lot of papers. But still, these will be papers about RuPaul's Drag Race, which means they are on another level compared to normal papers.
The sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race is set to premiere on Logo this February (a fabulous 10-second teaser has already hit the web). As for the course — unfortunately, you need to actually attend Occidental College to take it, so the rest of us will just have to improvise somehow.