May 22, 2022

Taylor Swift taught at New York University

Taylor Swift fans can bring out their pencil cases and their notebooks: a course entirely dedicated to the American singer was launched last week by the Clive Davis Institute, a dependency of the prestigious New York University. It will be provided by Brittany Spanos, journalist for Rolling Stone, and will continue until March.

The objective of the program will be to study the trajectory of the superstar, to highlight what she says about the American socio-political climate, as explained in the presentation of the program, relayed by Variety:

“This course aims to analyze both the attraction and the aversion generated by Taylor Swift, by studying in depth her music and her public speaking, which reflect her own evolution as an artist and a celebrity ( …) This course will analyze the cultural and political representation of female adolescence in pop, fan communities, media, whiteness and power, all of which relate to her image as well as the image of those who preceded her and who succeeded her.”

An icon of white supremacists

This course will also discuss issues of “copyright and intellectual property, American nationalism and the impact of social networks on the pop industry”. So many topics related to Taylor Swift and her career; the singer embarked on the re-recording of her first six albums in order to recover the rights. In addition, if she has displayed her progressive political opinions for a few years, the silence she observed at the start of her career earned her a time as an icon of white supremacists.

“I’ve been covering Taylor Swift news since I started in journalism ten years ago, and I’ve been a fan of her for even longer,” said Britanny Spanos in the columns of Variety. It is a great honor to share my expertise of Swiftie (the pseudonym adopted by the singer’s admirers, editor’s note) with a group of students.” 876450610001_6282035315001

Jason King, a musician and department head at the Clive Davis Institute, was himself Brittany Spanos’ teacher when she was studying at New York University. He claims “not to have hesitated for a second” when she offered him this course: “She understands how to put [la trajectoire de Taylor Swift] within a cultural context, and leads its students to think more deeply about the character and her music through the lenses of gender, feminism, ethnicity and social class.” long wait, according to the university, and Taylor Swift herself was asked to speak – but has not (yet) responded.

This isn’t the first time an American star has found himself studied at college. Beyoncé, in particular, received the same honor in 2017 at the University of Copenhagen. With the star as a pretext, the Norwegian musicologist Erik Steinskog evoked there the music but also the questions of feminism, gender and Afro-American identity.

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