Taylor Swift Courses Arriving at Harvard and University of Florida
Taylor Swift is going to be on the curriculum at some universities in the upcoming year. The superstar musician’s songwriting and impact as an artist have garnered enough interest from both Harvard and the University of Florida (UF) to inspire them to create course around her music. The Cambridge and Gainesville campuses have announced new courses studying Swift for 2024. At Harvard, the course “Taylor Swift and Her World” will be taught by professor, poet, and critic Stephanie Burt. Per the Harvard Crimson, Burt’s course will dive into how Swift’s work intersects with the literary canon. “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?”
At UF, the course “Musical storytelling with Taylor Swift and other iconic female artists” will be taught by Melina Jimenez. The UF course will dig into Swift’s discography, “her evergreen songwriting,” and draw parallels between Swift’s “enchanting lyrics.” The course will also study works by other “famous female masterminds” such as Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, and Dolly Parton. Each week, students will listen, reflect, discuss, and write on themes like old flames, infidelity, aging, and double standards. Students will collaborate with their peers to annotate lyrics, analyze themes, and participate in class discussions.
These schools aren’t the first to study Swift’s lyrics and her cultural impact. As we previously reported, the influential pop star has had courses offered at Ghent University in Belgium, the University of Missouri, 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. As with the courses that will be introduce at Harvard and UF next year, these universities have also dissected Swift’s work.