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Melissa Avdeeff: Pop Culture Aficionado

Melissa Adveeff, is a young PhD graduate who has lived across Canada and is now a sessional instructor here at UVic. She completed her PhD half way around the world earning her BA in Music from the University of Alberta and her Masters in Music criticism from McMasters University. Notorious for the development, and teaching of the Beyoncé course (MUS 391) at UVic, her interests and passion stretch far beyond.

Adveeff teaches Popular Music Studies. This semester she teaches a course on live music and popular culture, and is also doing a course on Beyoncé. Last semester, she taught a course called Popular Music and You, which explored popular music and our role as a consumer and the relationship we have with it. On the topic of her degree, Adveeff states that the “one reason why [she], or anyone studies Popular Culture is more from a sociological perspective. [She] sees the importance of studying popular culture as very sociological. It gives us a more unique perspective on our everyday existence and society, and studying its cultural productions.”

Adveeff believes it’s important to question our role in these cultural productions. We need to ask questions like why do we become so crazy when we see Miley Cyrus twerking? Why do we have such a reaction to this when it was built out of the society we live in? It is necessary to question what we are consuming and how it affects us. Adveeff stresses that her courses are ” not just about the music. Coming up in the [Beyoncé] course we have a section on feminism, and we just had a class on the performativity of gender. It’s not just about music, it’s about issues that relate more broadly to music, and how we consume it.”

In her spare time, Adveeff likes to play music as a hobby, check out open mics, and sometimes she plays in them too! She is a fanatic of the outdoors, which is accentuated in Victoria with its outdoor spaces. While completing her PhD program in Edinburgh, Scotland, she completed the West Highland Way, a personal accomplishment for herself, by hiking a total of six days and 154.5 kilometers!

Adveeff believes that Popular Music Studies is “such a unique field. [She] would love for these classes to be degree required”, but most are only electives at UVic. If you are interested in pursuing this, she advises finding universities that offer these courses as majors, and to read as much as you can. Whether it be magazines, or academic journals, be as inquisitive as possible. 

Originally from Richmond, British Colmbia, Jasmine Yadeta is a forth-year student at the Univeristy of Victoria. She is studying for a BSc in Psychology and Computer Science and is Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at UVic. She enjoys breakfast related food items (but let's be honest, who doesn't?), movies, and salivating when in close proximety to baked goods. When not writing for HC, she loves volunteering on and off of campus, cooking with wine, and awing at the occasional puppy. She is constanly sassy, highly motivated and drinks an immense amount of coffee.
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