Meet the Exeter student who’s written her entire dissertation on Harry Styles
Naturally, Lucy got the idea whilst at one of his concerts x
An Exeter final year has written her actual dissertation on Harry Styles, and tbh I’ve never seen anything more iconic.
Theology and religion student Lucy, 21, wrote her dissertation on Harry Styles fans, with the title: “Are Fandoms Comparable to Religious Groups?: The Harry Styles Fandom a Case Study”.
The idea came to her whilst at one of his Wembley concerts last year. “I started to make connections between religious groups and fandoms and it sort of started there and now it’s the finished diss”, she said.
“I’m a huge Harry fan, like HUGE”, Lucy says. “This is gonna sound like I’m making it up but I promise I’m not, my mum can verify I’ve been a fan since the One Direction days, right from his X Factor audition.”
“My soundtrack to writing my diss involved a whole lot of Harry”, Lucy says – her highlights being his songs Satellite and Carolina. She even quoted some of his songs within the diss: “Honestly I know all of them fully by heart it was more just checking I quoted them 100 per cent correctly”, she says.
Lucy’s supervisor was “super supportive” through her dissertation, with Lucy calling her a “true queen”. She said her supervisor was “kind of shocked” when she heard Lucy’s idea, but “mostly understood because they’ve written on religion and gaming before so she was very up for it”.
As well as thanking her supervisor, housemates and family in the acknowledgements of her dissertation, Lucy also dedicated it to “the main man himself Mr Harry Styles”. I wouldn’t expect anything less.
The dissertation itself had three chapters, each about “some ritual or religious theory” which Lucy then applied to Harry Styles fans.
“A big part of what I looked at was Love On Tour [Harry Styles’ world tour, which started in 2021 and will end later this year], the community section focuses on a theory called collective effervescence which basically is this feeling of energy and harmony that occurs when there is a shared purpose. This can be seen at Harry’s shows”, she says.
“I went to TikTok for a lot of my Harry sources too! The TikTok fandom is huge as well as the Twitter fandom.”
Lucy is seeing Harry Styles five times this summer – she’s already been to shows in Coventry and Slane in Ireland recently, and is due to see him at Wembley again this weekend and then twice in Cardiff next week. “Truly this is my version of going travelling after uni”, she says.
She’s planning on bringing her dissertation along to the Cardiff show – like the Nottingham grad who wrote dissertation on Bruce Springsteen and recently gave it to the singer at his gig.
“I’m really hoping to get him a copy”, she says. “I did take a sign last year with me saying I’m going to write my dissertation on you as at that point I had a vague idea of what I wanted to write on but being at the actual concert gave me the full idea.”