Ready for it? Taylor Swift academic conferences to be held in Melbourne and Indiana , Latest Music News - The New Paper

Ready for it? Taylor Swift academic conferences to be held in Melbourne and Indiana

Seven universities in Australia and New Zealand will co-organise a three-day academic conference about American megastar Taylor Swift.

Conference topics range from the psychological underpinnings of fandom to the theme, “This city screams your name”, which looks at the “impacts of international touring and large events, particularly Taylor Swift, on urban landscapes and the cultural identity of cities”.

Named “Swiftposium 2024”, the hybrid event will be held from Feb 11 to 13, 2024 – both online and at The University of Melbourne in Parkville, Victoria. Swift will hold The Eras Tour shows in Australia in the same month.

The tour, which stretches from March 2023 to November 2024, will stop in at least 18 countries and be held in cities such as Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Singapore and Toronto.

According to its website, the Swiftposium 2024 is for “scholars to engage in critical dialogue about Swift’s popularity and its profound implications on issues including gender, fandom, popular culture, literature, the economy, the music industry and more”.

The organisers invite academic researchers from the Asia-Pacific region to submit proposals for Swiftposium on a range of academic disciplines linked to the conference themes. The deadline for abstract submissions is Oct 31.

“Taylor Swift really does have a very concrete impact globally, across things that affect all of us,” Swiftposium organiser Jennifer Beckett from The University of Melbourne told the BBC, referring to topics such as entertainment law and gross domestic product.

“World leaders are begging for her to bring The Eras Tour to their country because of the economic benefits that it brings.”

Research company QuestionPro found that The Eras Tour could generate about US$5 billion (S$6.8 billion) for the US economy. It also found that concertgoers were on average spending about US$1,300 a show.

In the US, the Indiana University Arts and Humanities Council will hold a free but ticketed Taylor Swift conference from Nov 3 to 5 in Bloomington, Indiana.

Responding to The Straits Times’ queries, a spokesman said more than 500 people have registered.

Participants are not required to attend the entire event, and can choose which panels they would like to attend.

The on-site conference will welcome scholars, students, fans and community members. It will have “keynote talks, panels and workshops with national and global scholars”. The call for conference submissions has closed.

Its website states that this event will examine “the career, discography, legacy and cultural impact of Taylor Swift”.

The Indiana University spokesman said this will be its first Taylor Swift academic conference.

The Eras Tour is on track to become one of the highest-grossing tours of all time. It could gross US$2.2 billion in North American ticket sales alone, according to August survey data that QuestionPro provided to CNN.

Swift is the first woman to have 100 million monthly listeners on digital music service Spotify, Sky News reported in August, and she continues to top the charts.

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