Harvard University to offer ‘Miss Vanjie’ course

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 contestant Vanessa Vanjie Mateo

She may have been the first to be sent home from Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, but “Miss Vanjie” is headed to Harvard University.

The spunky drag queen alter-ego of Jose Cancel, 26, became the inspiration for a psychology course on “the sense of self in contemporary society,” which the Ivy League school will begin offering as “PSYC G-8008: Miss Vanjie & The Sense Of Self In Postmodern America” beginning in the Fall 2018 semester.

Harvard University Associate Professor and course director Jordan Manrique said the idea came to him while watching the 10th season premiere of the seminal gay reality TV show at a friend’s house.

“When Miss Vanjie was told to sashay away and she just did that snappy backwards walk while murmuring her name over and over, a light bulb lit up in my head,” said Manrique. “It was a sublime moment of self-awareness and self-realization, and I knew right there and then it had to be a course at Harvard.”

Manrique said he’s in the process of designing the course curriculum and is having “a gay old time.”

“I mean, I’m not gay myself, I just used a turn of phrase, but I don’t think anyone has ever had so much fun designing a course, probably not since the Madonna studies in the 90s,” said Manrique.

Successful completion of “PSYC G-8008: Miss Vanjie & The Sense Of Self In Postmodern America” will grant 4 credits. It can be taken as a noncredit, nongraduate or graduate credit course.

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