Universities offer courses on Taylor Swift’s influence on music and culture

The curriculum aims to analyse Swift's artistic contributions and their intersection with contemporary culture.


File photo of Taylor Swift. PHOTO: COLLECTED/ THE DAILY STAR

December 5, 2023

DHAKA – Harvard University and the University of Florida are set to introduce innovative courses delving into the impact of Taylor Swift on modern music and society. Harvard’s Professor Stephanie Burt will spearhead a course titled “Taylor Swift and Her World”, examining the singer’s music, lyrics, and cultural significance.

Similarly, Melina Jimenez at the University of Florida will teach “Musical Storytelling with Taylor Swift and Other Iconic Female Artists,” exploring the narratives of influential musicians such as Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, and Dolly Parton.

The curriculum aims to analyse Swift’s artistic contributions and their intersection with contemporary culture. Professor Burt highlighted the relevance of such courses in today’s era, stating, “We are lucky enough to be living in a time when one of our major artistes is also one of the most famous people on the planet. Why would you not have a course on that?”

Moreover, these initiatives are not isolated occurrences. Several other esteemed institutions globally, including Ghent University in Belgium, the University of Texas at Austin, Berklee College of Music, and the University of California, have incorporated similar courses focusing on renowned artistes like Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Nicki Minaj, and Bad Bunny.

Taylor Swift’s remarkable success in album sales, streaming records, and awards has solidified her place as a dominant force in the music industry. Her ability to resonate with audiences and influence the younger generation has made her a subject of academic exploration in various educational institutions worldwide.

This trend isn’t limited to Taylor Swift alone, as former One Direction member Harry Styles had a dedicated course at Texas State University, while UC Berkeley offered a class on Nicki Minaj, and San Diego State rolled out a curriculum centred around Bad Bunny. The trend of dissecting the impact and artistry of contemporary music icons continues to gain momentum in academia.

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