More college courses dedicated to Taylor Swift have been added to the academic canon for 2024, including a class at one of the most famous universities in the world: Harvard.
Starting in the spring, both Harvard University and the University of Florida will offer studies on the 33-year-old pop star: “Taylor Swift and Her World” and “Musical Storytelling With Taylor Swift and other Iconic Female Artists,” respectively. Summaries of the courses are already available online.
At Harvard, English department instructor Stephanie Burt will guide students through examinations of fan culture, celebrity culture, adolescence, adulthood and appropriation, as well as approaches to white texts, Southern texts, transatlantic texts and queer subtexts. “We will learn how to think about illicit affairs and hoaxes, champagne problems and incomplete closure,” adds the course description on Harvard’s website, referencing track titles on Swift’s Folklore and Evermore albums.
Meanwhile, UF’s Melina Jimenez will oversee “13 gorgeous weeks of discussing Taylor Swift’s discography, with a focus on her evergreen songwriting,” according to the institution’s similarly song reference-filled course description. Students will also “draw parallels between Swift’s enchanting lyrics and works by other famous female masterminds” while dissecting themes such as “old flames, infidelity, aging and double standards.”
Harvard and University of Florida are just two of the latest schools to offer Swiftian studies, following in the footsteps of institutions such as University of Texas, Arizona State University, Stanford University and UC Berkeley. The fast-growing trend in Taylor-themed classes stems from New York University’s groundbreaking Swift course taught by Rolling Stone writer Brittany Spanos, which was launched early last year. Soon after, the “Anti-Hero” singer received an honorary doctorate from the university and spoke at its spring 2022 commencement ceremony.
The news comes on the heels of Swift closing out her final Eras Tour show of 2023, wrapping up three nights in São Paulo, Brazil, Sunday night (Nov. 26). It’s proven to be a blockbuster year for the 12-time Grammy winner, who picked up six more Recording Academy nominations earlier this month, in addition to winning 10 Billboard Music Awards. She’s also released two albums this year alone – Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) — while also reportedly reaching billionaire status thanks to her global Eras trek and corresponding concert film.