Hipsters 101 Is Now A College Course

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2Illustrated by David Galletly.
It's pretty easy to identify a hipster, which makes it even easier to poke fun at the hipster lifestyle. Insert references to ambiguous facial hair, tight pants, and mason jars and you've got yourself a punchline. But, one professor thinks the hipster lifestyle is worth a deeper dive than society affords. This fall, Tufts University is offering a course called "Demystifying the Hipster."

Professor Jacqueline O'Dell will teach the one-credit course as part of the university's Experimental College. The class description defines the hipster as "a divisive cultural figure that elicits both envy and outrage." To better understand their subject, students will also read works by Miranda July, Dave Eggers, and David Foster Wallace.

O'Dell explains that the hipster class touches on an important social trend. "I think it's important for students and anyone in general to think about why there's anxiety about producing a definition for it," she told the Boston Globe. "Hipster reflects larger changes to media, art, and literature. And socially and politically as well."

Yet, the core question behind her syllabus remains: How long we can expect the hipster to stay around? "Are hipsters part of counter-culture, or are they just another marketing niche in the mainstream?" the description asks.

If you listen closely, you can hear half of Brooklyn shouting in uproar at anyone who dares to refer to them as "mainstream." (Boston Globe)