Ivy League Era: Harvard To Offer Course on Taylor Swift

The Harvard University course "Taylor Swift and Her World" will explore Swift's music catalog, songwriting, and cultural impact.
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Published on November 30, 2023
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  • Harvard University will offer a course on Taylor Swift this spring.
  • The course will be taught by self-identified Swiftie Stephanie Burt, Ph.D., a professor in Harvard's English Department.
  • Swift-inspired courses are also offered at institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University; and the University of Florida.

Taylor Swift has been accepted into the Ivy League.

Harvard University announced the course "Taylor Swift and Her World" will be offered in Spring 2024.

It will take students through Swift's 10 original studio albums and four re-recorded studio albums; explore fan and celebrity culture; and consider white, southern, transatlantic, and queer subtexts of her music. It will also dive into Swift's inspirations, such as Dolly Parton, singer-songwriter Tracey Thorn, and poet William Wordsworth.

Self-identified Swiftie Stephanie Burt, Ph.D., will teach the course. Students will be able to receive credit for the course and, according to the course description, there is no limit on class capacity.

In an interview with The Harvard Crimson, the university's independent student newspaper, Burt, a professor in Harvard's English department, said she has been a fan of Swift since she heard the song "You Belong with Me" 14 years ago.

"I try to teach only the courses that I think our students can really use — either because students want them or because our curriculum needs them,” Burt said. "... We are lucky enough to be living in a time when one of our major artists is also one of the most famous people on the planet. Why would you not have a course on that?"

Harvard is just the latest institution to introduce a course focused on Swift's music and her impact on culture and the economy.

The University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Florida have announced that they will also offer courses based on the singer in 2024.

Stanford University will also offer students the chance to study Swift in a student-taught class focused on the singer’s storytelling through the eras.

In addition to Stanford's past Swift-studies offering, the University of Missouri offered the class "Taylor Swiftory: History & Literature Through Taylor Swift '' in Spring 2023. The University of Texas at Austin and New York University's Clive Davis Institute also taught courses covering her music in 2022.