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David Bowie a Summer School Hit

Otago’s Summer School paper on this rock music icon has been a hit in David Bowie-land, too.


Dr Ian Chapman of the Music Department is now internationally renowned for teaching Otago Summer School's MUSI260   - a new, multidisciplinary course on David Bowie’s career to date. Throughout the paper, every decade of Bowie's music, image and performance style was discussed and analysed, with Dr Chapman going in-depth on Bowie’s music, lyrics, album covers, and stage performances… and more.


Part-way through the course, there was excitement as staff and students learned that "David Bowie Official" had given the course a nod of approval. A newspaper story about the course was posted by David Bowie’s official Facebook page (and received over 6000 “likes”).  It was also tweeted on his official Twitter, and posted on his official website,


“It was such a blast to find out that what we are doing here at Otago had been both noted and sanctioned by the man himself,” says Dr Chapman. “The subsequent international response to those web postings has been amazing. I think it’s safe to say Bowie Studies is here to stay.”


The course proved to be another example of Otago's multidisciplinary approach. Dr Margo Barton of Otago Polytechnic’s fashion school lectured on Bowie’s fashion, and Alison Cumming – a tutor and Bowie expert from the Department of Media, Film and Communication – discussed Bowie’s movies, videos, and representation of gender.


Students greatly enjoyed  engaging with Bowie’s music and learning more deeply about the significance of his work.


You can view Dunedin’s Channel 39 story on MUSI260 – and the class celebration of David Bowie’s birthday – here


Pictured below:  Dr Ian Chapman teaching MUSI260