CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Harvard may not be the first university that springs to mind when thinking of schools that offer courses on Taylor Swift.
Professor Stephanie Burt, who graduated from Harvard in 1994, is a “diehard Swiftie,” adding that her fandom has “followed her to the classroom.”
The Harvard English Department will offer “Taylor Swift and Her World,” with Burt teaching the class next semester, and will give students a chance to do “deep dives into Swift’s lyrics, music, and influence, dissecting her catalog and reading a host of authors Burt finds relevant to understanding Swift’s artistry.”
It’s all for college credit.
Burt said that not only will Swift’s music be studied but Travis Kelce is bound to come up in conversation too, TMZ reported. And it won’t just be a surface discussion about the Swift-Kelce romance. It’s because typically, whoever Swift is dating ends up inspiring her music. But keep in mind, the Kansas City Chief may not be featured that much because she has yet to write that song about him.
Students, though, won’t be only reading or listening to Swift’s lyrics. they will also have required readings that date back way before 1989 such as Willa Cather’s “The Song of the Lark” and James Weldon Johnson’s “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man,” the Harvard Crimson reported. Burt will use Swift’s music to “track broader shifts in American Culture,” showing how the singer/songwriter transitioned from country to pop genres.
Harvard is joining the ranks of other schools that are using Swift as a teachable moment. The University of Florida is also launching a class while Arizona State already has one, Entertainment Weekly reported.
They join Ghent University in Belgium, the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University, Berklee College of Music, the University of California at Berkeley, New York University and Stanford University.
The University of Florida will examine not only Swift’s catalog but also other artists such as Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and Dolly Parton, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Harvard is offering the Swift class under the lecture courses category alongside classes on Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton and Toni Morrison.