Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” for lyrical greatness will soon be studied in the hallowed halls of the Ivy League.
The English Department at Harvard University plans to debut a course next semester dedicated to the global superstar’s celebrated songcraft, according to The Harvard Crimson.
“Taylor Swift and Her World” will be taught by English professor and Swift “mastermind” Stephanie Burt, described by the student newspaper as a “diehard Swiftie.”
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“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,” Burt told The Crimson.
“Why would you not have a course on that?”
Education themes appear in Swift’s songwriting.
“We cry tears of mascara in the bathroom, honey, life is just a classroom,” Swift sings in the 2014 hit “New Romantics.”
“The syllabus states students will learn ‘how to think about White texts, Southern texts, transatlantic texts and queer subtexts.’” — The Harvard Crimson
“I think it’s time to teach some lessons,” she croons in the 2022 release “Bejeweled.”
Students at Harvard will not just analyze the music of NFL star Travis Kelce’s better half, however.
“Required readings span from Willa Cather’s portrait of the female artist in ‘The Song of the Lark,’ and James Weldon Johnson’s ‘The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man’ — a novel dissecting issues of race and class in the post-Reconstruction South,” The Crimson reported.
“Some of the works aim to address the urban-rural divide in America; the syllabus states students will learn ‘how to think about White texts, Southern texts, transatlantic texts, and queer subtexts.’”
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The Crimson added, “Students will earn college credit for their deep dives into Swift’s lyrics, music and influence, dissecting her catalog and reading a host of authors Burt finds relevant to understanding Swift’s artistry.”
Harvard is only the latest major university to include pop-star subject matter in its course load.
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Music icons Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Bruce Springsteen, Harry Styles and Jay-Z have all been the center of college classes around the nation.
Swift is the subject of a psychology course offered this autumn at Arizona State University.
“The course is basically using Taylor Swift as a semester-long example of different phenomena — gossip, relationships, revenge,” instructor Alexandra Wormley told ASU News.
Burt, the Harvard English professor, said that Swift’s writing offers a depth beyond that of a typical pop star.
“I try to teach only the courses that I think our students can really use — either because students want them or because our curriculum needs them,” said Burt, according to The Crimson.
“Taylor Swift is someone who establishes complicated and changing relationships … to the idea of White Americanness.”
She traces her Swiftie conversion to the 2009 hit “You Belong With Me,” from the performer’s second album.
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“Taylor Swift is someone who establishes complicated and changing relationships to the idea of Americanness and to the idea of White Americanness and of Middle America,” she told The Crimson.
As The Crimson also noted in its article about the new course, “Swift’s evolving relationships with class, region and identity have sparked a range of political conversations. Despite her initial trajectory as an artist focused solely on music-making, Swift has become well-known for her political activism after facing pushback for her silence during the 2016 elections. She has championed women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, releasing anthems like ‘The Man’ and ‘You Need To Calm Down’ on her 2019 album ‘Lover.’ She was also heralded as a major influence in the #MeToo movement.”
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The publication added, “Through her course, Burt asserts that this influence on politics and culture is worthy of study and analysis.”
The new course appears on Harvard’s website for the spring term.
Sydney Borchers and Brittany Kasko of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.
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