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Queen Mary University now runs a literary course on the works of Taylor Swift

Is Taylor Swift the modern day Shakespeare?


Queen Mary University’s School of English and Drama has announced it will be hosting “university-level classes” studying Taylor Swift’s discography, beginning next summer. 

The summer course, titled Taylor Swift and Literature, is one of the first UK universities to offer a class on the artist’s works.

The course’s location at Queen Mary means it will see students focus on Swift’s lyrics within a particular London and UK context.

Dr Clio Doyle, the academic lead for the new course, believes that Taylor Swift’s catalogue can be interpreted and analysed in literary, cultural, political, and even historical contexts.

Doyle said: “This module suggests that the lyrics of Taylor Swift can and should be read as literature. In doing so, we will pay close attention to formal elements such as rhyme and word choice. We will also analyze her songs with the help of key texts in critical theory and discuss the political, national, and historical contexts of her work.”

After 150 rigorous hours (of which 45 are contact hours) studying the intricacies of literary history through the lens of Taylor’s all-American music, Dr Doyle says her students will have developed a “sophisticated critical understanding of narrative and poetic technique.”

The course also includes field trips and exhibitions which encourage students to engage with the city and the ways in which the UK influences Taylor’s lyrics.

Students are assessed through a 2,500-word essay (80 per cent) and a 10-minute class presentation (20 per cent).

If the course appeals to you – and you have a sum of £2100 (not including the trips) and the work ethic to fund your living costs in East London – then make sure to get your application in by May 24th next year.

Considering her Eras tour caused seismic activity equivalent to a minor earthquake and the film of her concert broke an AMC cinema record, it isn’t surprising that universities are turning their heads and catering to popular demand.

Alongside NYU’s Clive Davis Institute and a student-taught course at Stanford, Queen Mary is at the forefront of universities offering contemporary courses on topics that interest the students of today.

Courses like these are proving to be increasingly valuable in today’s competitive labour market – USA Today offers up to $50 an hour or $100,000 (£82,000) a year for a Taylor Swift reporter.

Maybe our fandom obsessions from the darker Tumblr days will, finally, be of monetary use.

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