You Can Now Study Taylor Swift’s Career At The University Level

NYU introduced a course about the pop star’s illustrious career.

CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 30: Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall ...
Kevin Kane/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Class is in session, Swifties! According to Variety, New York University’s Clive Davis Institute is now offering a course all about Taylor Swift’s illustrious, 18-year-long career in the music industry. The class, taught by Rolling Stone journalist Brittany Spanos, will reportedly take students through the 32-year-old’s “evolution as a creative music entrepreneur, the legacy of pop and country songwriters, discourses of youth and girlhood, and the politics of race in contemporary popular music.” The course began on Jan. 26 and will continue through March 9.

But wait, there’s more. Those who are lucky enough to be enrolled in the class (because yes, there is a long waitlist) may get the chance to meet the “Message In A Bottle” singer live and in person. Swift has reportedly been invited to speak, but “the status of that request is still pending.” If she’s able to make it, it’s entirely possible that the class will get a private performance. If she’s unable to attend a lecture, students can rest assured that the course will still be worth their while.

“This course proposes to deconstruct both the appeal and aversions to Taylor Swift through close readings of her music and public discourse as it relates to her own growth as an artist and a celebrity,” the course description reads. “Through readings, lectures and more, the class delves into analyses of the culture and politics of teen girlhood in pop music, fandom, media studies, whiteness and power as it relates to her image and the images of those who have both preceded and succeeded her.”

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The curriculum will also include issues pertaining to “copyright and ownership, American nationalism, and the ongoing impact of social media on the pop music industry.” By the end, students should have a better understanding of Swift’s success and how her songwriting and general creativity captivated millions and launched her into superstardom. They will also learn about “the legacy of pop and country songwriters that have influenced Swift” and take a deep dive into fandom.

“Students will gain an understanding of how discourses of youth and girlhood are often exploited in the media and music industries,” the course description continues. Perhaps most interestingly, the class will also explore Swift’s identity and politics. “Students will learn about the politics of race in contemporary popular music, and to interrogate whiteness as it relates to Swift’s politics, songwriting, worldview and interactions with the wider cultural world around her,” it reads.

Spanos told Variety that teaching at her alma mater is “a dream.” “I’ve been covering Taylor Swift since I began my writing career a decade ago and have been a super fan of hers for even longer,” she said. It’s such an honor to be able to share my Swiftie expertise with a sharp group of students. I hope to help them rethink how to engage with one of the things world’s biggest and sometimes divisive stars, in the same way Clive professors like Jason King, Vivien Goldman and Joe Levy did for me when I took their courses.”

King, the Chair of the Clive Davis Institute, called the course a “no-brainer” and said that Spanos — a former student of his — is the perfect person to teach it. “She’s a Taylor fan but she also understands how to contextualize her culturally, and get students to think more deeply about her and her music through the lens of gender, feminism, race, and class, and other categories related to identity.” He added, “I’ve watched her rise as a journalist and as a person and I’m so excited to bring her in.”