Imagine being able to take a college course on U2.
Some fortunate students at Colorado State University – Pueblo don’t have to, because in this Spring 2017 term they are taking U2: Mediated Discourse and Invention from Professor Sam Lovato in CSU-P’s Mass Communications Department & Center for New Media.
The course description is:
This offering will survey the history, background, influence, work, and music of U2. Students will examine U2’s communication efforts through a social, political and technological context; enrolled scholars will frame the music and performance of the band as ideological, symbolic, and persuasive. Learners will leave the course with a thorough grounding in the legacy and achievement of U2.
Students taking the semester-long hybrid course interact with Lovato and their peers through a combination of lectures, videos, discussion boards, writing projects and film projects, and use U2 Above, Across, and Beyond as their required course textbook. Lovato recommends Exploring U2: Is This Rock ‘n’ Roll and U2 by U2 as additional textbooks.
Professor Lovato first taught this class in the Spring 2016 term and this is his second time offering it. He would be happy to hear from you and share more about his course. You can contact him here.
But Lovato isn’t the first college professor to offer a class on U2.
Professor of Communication Studies David Whitt at Nebraska Wesleyan University told the U2 Studies Network in the Fall 2015 term about a new class he was offering called Songs of Ascent: The Music and Meaning of U2. He taught the course again in the Fall 2016 term and will offer it a third time in the Fall 2017 term.
This class’ description is:
In the history of rock and roll few acts have had the longevity, popularity, and impact of U2. This course will trace the musical journey of U2 from their humble beginnings in Dublin, Ireland in the 1970s, to selling out arenas and stadiums around the world today. Along the way we will examine U2’s diverse musical catalog, their critical and commercial highs and lows, as well as the social consciousness exhibited in their songs and activism.
And Professor Tim Neufeld at Fresno Pacific University may be the first-ever to have taught a college-level course centered on U2 with Theology, Culture and U2, which he offered for the first time in 2008 and has taught three more times since then. Students in his class study:
The rock band U2 has delivered a consistent, yet subtle, message of biblical faith and social justice since its 1980 debut album. The band members, heavily influenced in their early years by living in war-torn Ireland and belonging to a Christian community called Shalom, fill their songs with rich biblical imagery. Lead singer Bono has become a political activist addressing global issues of poverty, inequity, fair trade, AIDS, and debt relief. In this course students will explore how U2’s music, message and theology interact with culture to create a unique yet sometimes controversial expression of Christian faith. The course will critically examine the works of U2 and will challenge students to think theologically about current cultural issues.
If you’ve used U2 in the classroom as a teacher or student, let us know about it in the comments below.