University Offering New Taylor Swift Course

A new English class offered at the University of Texas at Austin will center around singer and songwriter Taylor Swift.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is well known for her bubbly, contagious songs of scorned love and heartache. But in a growing fashion, she also is heavily involved in the world of academia. At the end of the 2021-2022 school year, the queen of pop was blessed with an honorary degree from New York University. On top of that, she has had college credit courses taught in her name. Now once again, the Love Story singer and songwriter will have another university seminar offered in her name.

The University of Texas at Austin announced this week a new offering for students enrolled within the school that teaches nearly 52,000 students. The newest addition to the fall semester lineup of classes is The Taylor Swift Songbook. It is an English course available for undergraduates enrolled in the Liberal Arts Honors program.

The class will be helmed by English Professor Elizabeth Scala. Students will undergo a deep dive into decoding Taylor Swift’s massive playbook of songs. Also, the class will discuss her poetic style of writing. In comparing her work to other pieces of literature, the class will also look at other popular writers throughout histories such as Shakespeare, John Keats, and Robert Frost.

Unlike many pop culture icons often compared to Taylor Swift, the 32-year-old usually has a hand in writing her songs, if not being the sole individual versing her titles. The Shake It Off singer penned the songs within her popular fourth studio album, Red, alone. The emotional album is considered some of her best work and won the young musician plenty of accolades.

Red will be included on the class syllabus of required reading material, including the rest of her three most recent albums. Taking on socio topics, Scala said that she plans to have class discussions on topics like gender, and authenticity, along with the impact fans have had on the work that Taylor Swift has produced over her 16-year spanning career. 

At the core of this new class, Scala promises to showcase Swift’s writing persona in which she has brilliantly used vocabulary, metaphors, and “clever manipulations of words,” within her songwriting style. In turn, she will show students how Taylor Swift’s resume of songs relates back to various forms of writing, which is likely where prominent names like Shakespear and Frost will come into play.

taylor swift

The University of Texas isn’t the first institute of higher ed to offer a course focusing solely on the young musician. The same college that recently handed Taylor Swift a diploma also offered a music course last year. The NYU class is offered at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and is taught by Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone Magazine. Focusing more on the melodic aspect of Swift, this course covers her evolution as a musical entrepreneur along with the legacy she has in both the country and pop genres of music. 

Students began taking this new Taylor Swift course at the University of Texas when classes for the 2022-2023 school year began on August 22nd. It’s part of a growing movement in liberal arts studies to offer courses that focus on modern-day individuals and their accomplishments. By the end, students are hopeful to have a vast knowledge and understanding of the framework to which Swift has garnered immense success in the music, and writing industry.