Harvard University to start class on 'Taylor Swift and Her World'

Exciting news for Swifties!

Harvard University is gearing up to launch a fresh course in the upcoming semester, titled "Taylor Swift and Her World." Headed by Professor Stephanie Burt from the English department, the course promises to immerse students in the captivating realm of Taylor Swift. Beyond delving into her iconic lyrics and music, the class will also explore Swift's profound cultural impact.

Professor Stephanie Burt, the innovative mind behind this course, asserts that Swift is unquestionably one of the most influential songwriters of our time. According to her (as quoted by Dazed Digital), "She stands out as one of the preeminent songwriters in our contemporary era. Her ability to craft universally appealing songs is a rare talent among great songwriters, and she adeptly leverages these exceptional gifts alongside her prowess in image management and fan interaction."
The course will explore Swift's evolution, tracing her journey from an early MySpace sensation to her current standing as a global superstar. Additionally, it will examine how Swift's artistic endeavors intersect with a range of literary and cultural themes, such as adolescent identities, whiteness, fame, self-doubt, maturity, and the intricacies of sexuality.

Swift's accomplishments in the music industry are truly extraordinary. Establishing herself as one of the most influential artists globally, she commands an immense fan base known as Swifties. At a certain point in October, she held all ten positions on the Billboard Hot 100, showcasing her unparalleled dominance in the music charts.

Following the release of her latest album, "1989 (Taylor’s Version)," Swift etched her name in history by becoming the first artist to achieve six number-one albums, each selling over a million copies in their debut week. Her concert film, "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour," not only shattered box office records with an astonishing $250 million gross but also earned the distinction of being the highest-grossing concert film of all time.
Professor Burt vehemently contends that those who dismiss Swift as an inconsequential subject for study are misguided. She underscores, "She’s an exceptional songwriter, and songwriting is an art form in itself." Although Swift may not be celebrated as a poet, novelist, or playwright, she has unquestionably established herself as a formidable songwriter.

Interestingly, Harvard isn't the sole academic institution recognizing Swift's cultural importance. The University of Florida (UF) is set to launch a course dedicated to the pop sensation next semester, titled "Musical Storytelling with Taylor Swift and Other Iconic Female Artists."

Taught by senior lecturer Melina Jimenez, this course will delve into Swift's discography, alongside the works of other legendary female artists such as Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, and Dolly Parton.
Harvard and UF are not the sole institutions offering courses centered on Swift. Several other universities, including Ghent University in Belgium, the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University, Berklee College of Music, the University of California at Berkeley, Arizona State, New York University, and Stanford, have acknowledged the academic significance of studying Swift's contributions and cultural influence.

The trend of introducing courses focused on pop culture figures extends beyond Swift alone. In recent years, universities have delved into the scholarly potential of artists such as Harry Styles, Nicki Minaj, and Bad Bunny, underscoring the evolving landscape of academic exploration into contemporary culture.

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