Harvard's diehard Swiftie professor to offer Taylor Swift course in 2024
Harvard University is the latest school to dedicate a course on American pop icon Taylor Swift, and hundreds of students have reportedly signed up for the class ahead of its launch in Spring 2024.
Offered by Professor Stephanie Burt, a self-proclaimed diehard Swiftie, the course titled Taylor Swift and Her World will allow students to earn credit for taking deep dives into Swift’s lyrics, music and influence.
They will also read the works of a host of authors that Prof Burt “finds relevant to understanding Swift’s artistry”.
“We will learn how to think about illicit affairs and hoaxes, champagne problems and incomplete closure,” reads the course description on Harvard’s website, referencing a number of songs from Swift’s vast catalogue.
The course will also get students to explore “fan culture, celebrity culture, adolescence, adulthood and appropriation”, and “how to think about white texts, Southern texts, transatlantic texts and queer subtexts”.
In an interview with Harvard University’s newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, Prof Burt added that Swift’s “influence on politics and culture is also worthy of study and analysis”.
The singer-songwriter used to stay mum about her political leanings but in recent years, she has spoken out against sexism, inequality and former United States president Donald Trump.
“We are lucky enough to be living in a time when one of our major artists is also one of the most famous people on the planet,” Prof Burt said. “Why would you not have a course on that?”
Besides Harvard, other universities including Stanford, Rice, Berklee College of Music and Arizone State Univerisity have also offered classes on Swift, her music and the success of The Eras Tour. Meanwhile, the University of Florida is also set to launch a course, Musical Storytelling with Taylor Swift and Other Iconic Female Artists, in 2024.
Swift is not the only pop icon to have courses in universities dedicated to her. Others like Harry Styles and Nicki Minaj have also been headliners in academic modules.