I like Taylor Swift just as much as the next person; however, the University of Texas allows students to study Taylor Swift’s lyrical abilities alongside (actually) great literary icons such as Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and, yes, Ernest Hemmingway.
Ernest Hemmingway would roll over in his grave if he found out he was being compared to the woman who wrote: “Shake It Off.”
This new class will be taught by English professor Elizabeth Scala this fall. The class will be offered to first-year undergraduates enrolled in the Liberal Arts Honors program.
The undergraduate course is titled “The Taylor Swift Songbook.” According to a Facebook post by the university’s Department of English, the class “provides an introduction to literary studies and research methods that uses the songwriting of @taylorswift as the basis for teaching a wide range of skills.”
In a comment told to the Austin American-Statesman, Scala said, “Swift is an intelligent and talented songwriter, and her writing skills are what made me focus on her.”
Swift isn’t the only celebrity the students can study this year. Harry Styles will also be among the courses offered at the Texas University. The course will be offered in the spring of 2023 and is titled, “Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet, and European Pop Culture.”
As the student loan debate rages across the country colleges and universities are using pop stars to integrate discussions on gender authenticity and other such topics.
According to CNN,
UT Austin introduced a class titled, “Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism” to explore Black feminism. Other universities also have made headlines for courses centered on pop stars, including the University of Copenhagen’s “Beyoncé, Gender and Race” and a University of South Carolina sociology course dedicated to the work of Lady Gaga.
Swift was also the commencement speaker at New York University’s graduation in May 2022, where she received an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree.
As the student loan debate continues to heat up across the country course like this are under the microscope.