University of Texas Turns Taylor Swift Songs Into a Course | Spurzine

University of Texas Turns Taylor Swift Songs Into a Course

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It turns out that you can teach almost anything as long as you have the right connections. The University of Texas is adding Taylor Swift lyrics to its learning programs giving students a chance to study the singer’s lyrics alongside the works of literary icons like Shakespeare.

The university, which is based in Austin is now offering an undergraduate course called “The Taylor Swift Songbook” as part of its liberal arts honours program. A similar move was done recently at the New York University where Taylor Swift-themed lessons were taught and ended with the singer as the commencement speaker.

Imagine Makerere Unversity introducing a course dedicated to studying Recho Rey lyrics as part of the arts programs. I know what you’re thinking, how is a song like Seeka going to add knowledgeable value to the students? Well, there is a lot you may not know about seekas just saying. 😂 😂

English Professor Elizabeth Scala, who is behind the idea told CNN that she picked Swift because the pop star writes her own music and her lyrics can help illuminate similar techniques from classic poetry.

“This is a course on her songs as literary writing and the ways a popular and award-winning writer uses the same literary devices, figures, and tropes of traditional poetry in her work,” she said. “It is not about celebrity or fame.”

Students at the University of Texas will study Taylor Swift’s songs alongside the writings of Western literature greats

“They’ll be asked to analyze and contextualize common practices and problems across the centuries,” Scala said. Scala is a self-described Swift fan and said her goal is to teach literary traditions through a contemporary lens.

“I want to take what Swift fans can already do at a sophisticated level, tease it out for them a bit with a different vocabulary, and then show them how, in fact, Swift draws on richer literary traditions in her songwriting, both topically but also formally in terms of how she uses references, metaphors, and clever manipulations of words,” Scala said.

“I’ll be showing students that these operations and interpretive moves one makes when reading her songs are appropriate to all forms of writing.”

Professor Elizabeth Scala has already set up an Instagram for the class on which she posts Swift trivia and poses questions to fans.

The class will mostly focus on songs from Swift’s recent albums, but students are free to bring up older songs for discussion, Scala said. With most of the lyrics posted online and the songs available on Apple Music or Spotify, students don’t have to buy music for the class, she said.

I wonder what would happen if a professor at Makerere started a course on Bobi Wine‘s music and added it to the political science department. It’s just a thought, don’t shoot me.

 

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Allan Bangirana

Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spurzine. He is passionate about tech, and games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.

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