Queen's University Offering Course On Taylor Swift

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Students at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. will be able to study Taylor Swift this fall.

According to a course description, Taylor Swift’s Literary Legacy (Taylor’s Version) aims to “cultivate an understanding of the intersections of literary and cultural studies by exploring Swift’s work through the lenses afforded by literary theory (e.g., feminist, or queer theory) and by discussing her sociopolitical impact on contemporary culture.”

Readings will include the lyrics of songs from Swift’s nine studio albums as well as popular texts she alludes to in her songs. “Students will also be expected to independently view the documentary Miss Americana (2020), Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Session (2020), and several music videos, including All Too Well: The Short Film (2021).”

The course description claims Swift’s decision to re-record her early albums “symbolizes Swift’s reclamation of her voice and ownership of her master recordings after a long legal battle with Scooter Braun.” (In fact, although Swift publicly beefed with Braun in 2019, there has been no reports of any “legal battle” between them. Braun sold the rights in 2020.)

The course will be taught by Swift fan and Queen's PhD student Meghan Burry. Registration for 75 spots will open this summer. 

Earlier this year, student Sophie Singer founded the Queen’s University Taylor Swift Society, which already has 235 members on Facebook and 859 Instagram followers.

Queen’s is not the first university to offer a course on Swift. Earlier this year, music journalist Brittany Spanos taught one at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute.

Montreal’s Concordia University launches a 13-week course this September titled Kanye vs. Ye: Genius by Design and last year, Toronto’s Ryerson University announced it was offering a course on hometown music stars Drake and The Weeknd.

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