Former Miss Canada finalist earns world’s first masters degree in The Beatles
It may be 2011, but Beatlemania is alive and well in the most unlikely and likely of places: academia and Liverpool. Oakvillian Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy, a former Miss Canada finalist and Juno-nominated singer, is the first graduate of Liverpool University’s masters degree program entitled The Beatles, Popular Music and Society. The program has 12 full-time students and, according to the Guardian, aims to analyze the Fab Four’s impact on Western culture by determining the “significance of the music of the Beatles in the construction of identities, audiences, ethnicities and industries, and localities.”The program sounds like a Beatles fan’s dream come true, but Zahalan-Kennedy told the BBC that studying popular music is more challenging than it seems: “It’s absolutely academic. It was an examination of how The Beatles came to be. What the political and social climate was and the cultural aspects that helped to facilitate an environment where The Beatles could happen.” Zahalan-Kennedy fell short of confirming who the eggman was.
All this pop studies talk got us wondering about a Canadian equivalent to the Beatles major. How about a thesis on Neil Young’s helplessness or on the socio-cultural conditions that produced Bieber Fever?
• Canadian gets world’s 1st Beatles degree [The Associated Press]
• Feeling Fab: Liverpool student becomes the first person to graduate with a degree in The Beatles [Daily Mail]