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GENIUS BY DESIGN course is here


“We will be analyzing Kanye’s journey as a model of success and failures, rises and falls, art and heart, pain and love. Ye is our lens.”

Concordia Professor Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman has dropped the syllabus for his fall semester course Kanye vs Ye: GENIUS BY DESIGN, which begins on Sept. 8, 2022. As announced last spring, the course is not entirely dedicated to Kanye West’s career, but uses his story and his work — and that of some of his influential friends and collaborators, such as the late Virgil Abloh — as a springboard for wide-ranging discussion and activities.

“We’ll be analyzing music and fashion, activism and passion. We will be analyzing Kanye’s journey as a model of success and failures, rises and falls, art and heart, pain and love. The course should not be misconstrued as a ‘Kanye’ class only. Rather, class should be considered as a venue for exploring contemporary issues (race, power, people, nations) self-analysis and/or reflection(s) through Kanye’s passion, vision and work. Ye is our lens. This is an intersectional study of contemporary art, design and thinking through Kanye’s work and story.”

—Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman

The discussion will range from Kanye’s beginnings with Blackstar to colonialism and the death of the American dream, while activities will include everything from group work dissecting West’s discography to designing a Yeezy-style apparel item to (possibly) the entire class attending concerts together. Other course assignments include essays on your five-year-old self and problematic Kanye West moments, aka “Kanyetive dissonance.”

There will be guests, including filmmaker Nabil Elderkin, and more to be announced.

Please note that in the event of extraordinary circumstances beyond the university’s control, the content and/or evaluation scheme in this course are subject to change.

Class 001 – A Benz and a BackPack: On Beginnings, Believing and Blackstar

Class 002 – An Evening with Coodie & Chike: Jeen-Yuhs by Design

Class 003 – College Dropout : alternative methods to education, success and self-actualization

Class 004 – Graduation: Undoing America, Oppression and Creative Heights

Class 005 – GOOD Music: A Sonic Study of Musical Evolution

Class 006 – An Evening with Nabil Elderkin: on Vision, Collaboration and Video

Class 007 – Kanyetive Dissonance: On Media, Manipulation and Me(ntal Health)

Class 008 – How Sway? : Questioning Power Dynamics, Industry and “a white man get paid off of all of that”

Class 009 – Yeezus Walks: Hip-Hop, Redemption and Rebirth

Class 010 – YZYSZN: Fashion, Passion and Design as Evolution

For more slides from the syllabus for Kanye vs Ye: GENIUS BY DESIGN at Concordia University, please see the slider below. For the complete course bibliography, please click here.

The syllabus for Concordia’s Kanye vs Ye: GENIUS BY DESIGN course is here

For more, please visit the Concordia Fine Arts department website.


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