The University of Texas is studying the lyrics of the songs of Taylor Swift along with works of Shakespeare, among other names.
The University, as published CNNoffers a course called The Taylor Swift Songbook as part of his “liberal arts” program.
This is not new, since in the New York UniversitySwift ended up with the singer as a speaker at a commencement ceremony.
Taylor Swift at the world premiere of Cats, in 2019. Photo: AFP
A course on songs
The english teacher Elizabeth Scale said he chose Swift because the pop star “writes her own music and her lyrics can help illuminate similar techniques of the classical poetry“.
“This is a course on his songs as literary writing and the ways in which a popular, award-winning writer uses the same literary devices and figures of traditional poetry in her work,” he said. “It’s not about celebrity or fame.”
Students will study Swift’s songs alongside the writings of the greats of Western literature.
“They will be asked to analyze and contextualize common practices and problems throughout the centuries,” Scala said.
Taylor Swift live at the 2019 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden. Photo: AFP
Scala describes herself as a “Swift fan” and told CNN that its goal is to teach literary traditions through a contemporary lens.
“I want to take what fans of Swift can already do on a sophisticated level, explain it to them a little bit in a different vocabulary, and then show them how, in fact, Swift draws on richer literary traditions in her songwriting, both subject-wise and subject-wise. Also formally in terms of how it uses clever references, metaphors and manipulations of words,” Scala said.
“I will show students that these interpretive operations and movements that one makes when reading their songs are appropriate for all forms of writing.”
The teacher and fan also created an Instagram for the class where she posts a Swift trivia, with questions for fans.
The class will focus mainly on the songs of the recent Swift albums, but students can bring up older songs to discuss. With most lyrics available in Apple Music or Spotifystudents don’t even have to buy their music for class.
From Rihanna to Taylor Swift
The course, as it advances CNNwill also address topics such as gender, authenticity, the influence of fans on artists and writers, and how language history and linguistic traditions enrich the reading experience, Scala said.
Taylor Swift, after winning her Grammy last year. Photo: Photo: EFE
“I think it’s important connect the curriculum with the present, but I am not willing to give up the past. This is my way of reintroducing previous material with relevance,” she added.
In 2015, this university did something similar titled “Beyoncé feminism, Rihanna feminism”to explore black feminism. Other colleges also made headlines for pop star-focused courses, including a Sociology of Science course. University of South Carolina dedicated to the work of Lady Gaga.
What’s coming at the University of Texas: a class on the British pop singer Harry Styles.
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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com