Well, let’s just get the obvious joke out of the way here, shall we?
There, it’s off the table now. On to the meat of the subject.
Because academia is a magical thing, Occidental College in Los Angeles is offering a course — a REAL course! — in RuPaul’s Drag Race. Is anyone else starting to feel a touch of remorse for dropping out now?
Just in case you were thinking that this is just some fluff course where you watch Drag Race and get an easy A, the course description for “Reading RuPaul: Camp Culture, Gender Insubordination, and the Politics of Performance” is actually quite thorough. According to Occidental’s website, “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 US 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 description goes on to say that the course will focus heavily on feminist and queer studies, borrow from essays and readings on LGBT culture, and actually require students to learn things. I suppose you’ll have to earn that A the old-fashioned way, huh?
As I’ve said in the past, at its best, RuPaul’s Drag Race does a really good job of encapsulating the North American gay experience while still being legitimately entertaining. And really, there are worse things you can study. Ever hear about that college course on Super Smash Bros Melee? Exactly.
ACADEMIA! Because your hobbies are secretly smarter than you’d think.