Harry Styles Is Subject of New College Course Studying His Impact on 'Sexuality, Race, Gun Control' and More

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Class will soon be in session for Harry Styles 101. The pop star finds himself as the subject of a new course offering through Texas State University, dubbed Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet and European Pop Culture, kicking off in the spring 2023 semester. 

But students lucky enough to score a seat in the lecture won't just be revisiting lyrics and romantic history -- they'll be studying Styles' broader impact on society as a whole through his larger-than-life persona. Louie Dean Valencia, associate professor of digital history at Texas State, promised a wider discussion on the "cultural and political development of the modern celebrity as related to questions of gender and sexuality, race, class, nation and globalism, media, fashion, fan culture, internet culture and consumerism," in a flier for the class.

"I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with students over the last two years that started with a shared love of Harry's music, but that quickly went into larger societal questions about gender, sexuality, race, gun control, sustainability because of Harry's art," Valencia said in an interview with CNN. "Self-expression, and comfort with oneself, is a big part of Harry's message -- along with treating people with kindness."

Styles' kindness and appreciation for education was on full display during a recent performance at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester, U.K., stopping his show to find someone in the crowd.

“I’m going to ask a favor from you because I’d like to try and find someone in the audience. So, we’re going to get really quiet and I’m going to see if I can locate this person if you don’t mind helping me," he told the audience of more than 20,000 fans, according to a video obtained by CBS News. "My first-ever school teacher is here tonight. Her name's Mrs. Vernon and I believe she's in the crowd."

Styles was quickly able to spot Mrs. Vernon, falling to his knees in excitement and appreciation when he saw the educator.

"There she is. Mrs. Vernon! How are you? I hear you’re retiring," he said. "I’d just like to thank you for everything in those formative years. Thank you so much. It means a lot to me that you’re here tonight."

After the special shout out, Mrs. Vernon herself told The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show about her experience teaching Styles more than two decades ago.

"I taught him when he was four and five and he was adorable," she said. "He was a little bit of a monkey, cheeky, and he had lots of friends, so a lot of his personality that you see now was quite evident from an early age."

As Styles grew, Mrs. Vernon said, she and other teachers "saw how talented he was with his music." 

"In everything he was amazing," she gushed. "All the teachers here are just so proud of him, and so excited about this and everything that he's achieved."

Styles is currently on the road for his Love on Tour tour in support of his latest album, Harry’s House. Just last week, he unveiled a fun new music video for his current single, "Late Night Talking." 

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