Harvard University is prepared to explore the worldwide impact of pop phenomenon Taylor Swift with a recently launched course named “Taylor Swift and Her World,” in an innovative move. This ground-breaking scholarly project will analyze Swift’s songs and lyrics in addition to exploring the significant cultural influence she has had on society.
This investigation will be led by Harvard University Professor Stephanie Burt, who will walk students through a detailed examination of Swift’s creative contributions and how they relate to the canon of literature. Beyond only analyzing Swift’s output, the program aims to investigate the influence she has had on other authors, artists, and the younger audience.
The trend of academic music-focused programs is not exclusive to Harvard. With its own course titled “Musical Storytelling with Taylor Swift and Other Iconic Female Artists,” the University of Florida also joins the chorus. This course, taught by Melina Jimenez, expands its focus to include not just Swift but also notable individuals such as Dolly Parton, Billie Holiday, and Aretha Franklin.
Swift’s effect on the younger generation is evident by the huge success of her Eras tour, proving her undeniable influence. The goal of the course is to unravel the mystery of Swift’s ongoing influence, whether it be via her thought-provoking speeches or her number-one singles.
There is historical precedence for this intellectual movement. Historically, institutions have attempted to bridge the gap between popular culture and academics by offering courses on other musical icons. Texas State University investigated the musical career of Harry Styles, a former member of One Direction, while UC Berkeley investigated Nicki Minaj’s poetic abilities. San Diego State University introduced a lesson centered upon the genre-bending Bad Bunny, which was a novel approach.
With universities still embracing the study of modern music icons, the introduction of Taylor Swift courses is a significant development in the academic scene. Through an analysis of Swift’s intricate skill set and worldwide reach, these classes herald a change in understanding of the significant effect contemporary artists have on the construction of cultural narratives.