People often advise you to follow your passion. Whether you’re a dedicated Swiftie or just a huge music lover, you might be interested to know there are actually courses dedicated to Taylor and her work. Even if they’re not open for enrolments, you could be inspired to find similar courses that also spark your passion. Ready for it? Check these out:
Musical storytelling with Taylor Swift
The University of Florida are offering an (un)common 13-week honours course in Spring 2024 discussing Taylor Swift’s discography. You’ll need to focus on her evergreen style of songwriting and draw parallels with the work of other renowned female artists.
You’ll listen, reflect, discuss, and write about song themes. Annotate lyrics, participate in discussions, write 2 online discussions posts, then at the end of the semester, you’ll work with a partner to create a final project of their choosing.
Psychology of Taylor Swift
Arizona State University are also offering a Taylor Swift course. “The course is basically using Taylor Swift as a semester-long example of different phenomena — gossip, relationships, revenge,” according to the teacher of the semester long class Alexandra Wormley. You’ll take a deep dive into specific topics, connecting themes from Taylor’s songs (such as family, friends, and fame) to topics in social psychology.
Literature: Taylor’s Version
Ghent university in Belgium has also launched a Taylor Swift literature course. “Literature: Taylor’s Version was launched this year to emphasise themes used by famous historical literary writers and their styles and techniques through the perspective of US pop superstars. It’s offered by British professor Elly McCausland to Masters students.
Unverified or past courses to inspire you
These courses are mentioned in multiple articles online, but we haven’t been able to find all the details with the providers to verify them. However, if you’re keen to find out what’s possible or you’re committed to tracking down Taylor Swift courses, here’s some starting points for you.
Topics in Recorded Music Class
Last year New York University’s Clive Davis Institute began offering its first ever course on Taylor Swift. Taught by Rolling Stones writer Brittany Spanos, the class covers “Swift’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.” We weren’t able to pin down details of the course and apparently there’s a long waitlist, but the Institute offers tonnes of other interesting music-centred courses too.
Stanford’s Literature course featuring Taylor
Reported earlier this year, Stanford University are offering a spring class called The Last Great American Songwriter: Storytelling with Taylor Swift Through the Eras. The course was developed by Ava Jeffs, a student at Stanford, as part of the school’s Student Initiated Course program.
“The whole goal of the class is to dive into the art of songwriting, exploring the interplay between literary references and lyricism and storytelling in Taylor Swift’s entire discography, taking it one album at a time and trying to look at the evolution of using songwriting as a narrative form,” Jeffs said. “It will draw parallels to classic works of literature and poetry in each album and gain a deeper understanding of the narrative power of music.”
Earlier in the year they offered a course titled “All Too Well (Ten Week Version)”, which was popular too.
Songwriting at Berklee
Berklee College of Music are also set to offer a songwriting course tracking Swift’s evolution, too. Titled Songs of Taylor Swift, you’d be analysing the Grammy-winning artist’s lyrical and compositional choices. We couldn’t find details on their website, but they do have some other really interesting sounding courses you might like to have a look at.
Artistry and Entrepreneurship
UC Berkeley are offering a course next spring titled Artistry & Entrepreneurship: Taylor’s Version. Creator Crystal Haryanto says “It will be a cross section of literature, economics, business and sociology and I think that we’re studying her impact as an artist, as a whole.” The course includes interactive lectures, readings, and listening assignments, and runs for 13 weeks.
Linking Swift songs with Western Literature
The University of Texas offered an undergraduate course in 2022: The Taylor Swift Songbook. Taught by Professor of English Elizabeth Scala, students studied Swift’s songs alongside the traditional canon of Western literature: Shakespeare, Keats, and Frost. They were asked to analyse and contextualise common practices and problems across the centuries.
Inspiring history and literary lovers
The University of Missouri claim to have offered the first ever Taylor course: Taylor Swiftory: History & Literature Through Taylor Swift. It was delivered by Dr. Thomas Kane and Jordan Pellerito as an Honors tutorial class. It was designed to explore a wide range of historical and literary topics using Taylor Swift’s music as a primary source to guide learning and class discussions.
Find more courses
You probably won’t receive full credits for most of the courses listed above; they’re offered alongside existing programs and designed to generate engagement and discussion. Either way, these courses can be a great way for Swifties and music lovers alike to share in their passion and learn something new.
If you’re looking for more study inspiration, take a look at our website.