Fame is so hard to define these days. How does a star know when she's truly made it? Is it when the hosts of "Today" dress up as you for Halloween? When you reach 1 billion views on YouTube? Are multiplatinum album sales and sold-out tours still a good barometer?
Or does one only reach true icon status when a college professor decides that person is important enough to base a university-level course around?
If so, welcome to the club, Lady Gaga!
According to the New York Times, University of South Carolina sociology professor Mathieu Deflem is planning to offer a course next semester entitled "Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame."
Deflem plans to delve into what makes a person famous and what it means to be famous in today's society. "The central objective is to unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga," Deflem states in the course description for the class, which he says is the first of its kind in the nation.
Deflem said that after being smitten with Gaga during a "Tonight" appearance last January, he attended a concert of hers in Atlanta and went on to catch 28 Gaga shows all over the globe. He's since become a superfan, collecting more than 300 CDs and records and launching the fan site gagafrontrow.net.
He's also met Mother Monster five times. Does that mean she'll swing by for a lecture sometime? "I will get the word out to her that I'm doing the course," he said when asked if he'd like her to drop in. "But it might be logistically too difficult for her to come because she will be on tour for most of the spring semester."
Gaga joins a venerable list of courses that will likely elicit a call from parents asking just what their money is going toward, including Georgetown University's "Philosophy and Star Trek," the University of California-Irvine's "The Science of Superheroes," Frostburg State University's "The Science of Harry Potter" and University of California-Berkeley's "Simpsons and Philosophy."
What do you think of a university teaching a course on Gaga? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!