Taylor Swift’s songwriting will be the subject of a new literature course at a University of Texas this fall, it has been announced.
The Grammy-winning artist’s songs will be studied at the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) alongside British and American literary giants such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Coleridge, Keats and Sylvia Plath.
Entitled The Taylor Swift Songbook, the course will be offered later this year, with preliminary texts including the artist’s albums Red (Taylor’s version), his sister’s albums Folklore and Still, and his 2019 record Lover.
According to its description on the UTA website, the course “uses the songwriting of pop music icon Taylor Swift to introduce literary critical reading and research methods – foundational skills for work in English literature and other humanities disciplines.
“By focusing on Swift’s music and the cultural contexts in which she and her career are situated, we will examine frameworks for understanding her work, such as poetic form, style, and history among a variety of important theoretical issues and questions. for contextualization as we practice up-close and in-depth reading, evaluating secondary sources, and constructing strong arguments,” the description continues.
UTA’s course follows that offered by New York University, which developed a course based on Swift’s status as a musical entrepreneur, as well as the songwriters who influenced her.
Swift received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from NYU earlier this year and delivered a moving speech at her commencement ceremony.
Opening her speech for New York University’s Class of 2022 graduates, she joked, “Last time I was in a stadium this size, I was dancing in high heels and wearing a sparkly leotard. This outfit is much more comfortable.
She added, “I’m 90% sure the reason I’m here is because I have a song called ’22’.”
In her moving speech, she told graduate students they had to “learn to live with the grimace,” commenting, “You will look back on your life and cringe in retrospect. Cringe is inevitable in a lifetime… You can’t avoid it so don’t try – for all of 2012 I dressed like a 1950s housewife!
Swift also rose to the challenges of working as a young woman in the music industry and being around people who were at least ten years older than her. “I was constantly getting warning signs,” she said, and was made to feel like she had to be a “model of a perfect young woman.” If she didn’t, she joked, she was warned she’d end up in “pop star jail.”
She also opened up about the low points in her career, telling the audience, “Getting canceled on the internet and almost losing my career gave me an excellent knowledge of all types of wine.”
Additional reporting by Press Association