Taylor Swift fans in Belgium can now study her songs as literature
A new course at Ghent University in Belgium will explore the parallels between Taylor Swift’s songs and classic works of literature.
The course, titled “Literature: Taylor’s Version,” will be taught by British professor Elly McCausland, who is a self-described Swiftie. McCausland says she was inspired to create the course after she noticed the similarities between Swift’s lyrics and the works of poets like Sylvia Plath and William Shakespeare.
“I want to show my students how much fun historical English literature can be,” McCausland said in a statement. “And I think Taylor Swift is a great way to do that.”
The course will examine Swift’s songs in the context of different literary movements and genres. Students will also learn about the different stylistic devices and topics that writers have used for centuries.
McCausland says she hopes the course will encourage students to explore the pioneers who helped shape literature between 900 and 1900. She also believes it is important to study modern female stars like Swift.
“After all, sometimes students lose the sense of studying something useful and recognisable because it is so old,” she said. “You need to learn how our history influences our modern literature.”
The “Literature: Taylor’s Version” course will be available later in 2023 as part of the master’s degree in Language and Literature at Ghent University.
This is not the first time that a university has offered a course on Taylor Swift. In 2022, New York University’s Clive Davis Institute launched a course about her life and career as a “creative music entrepreneur.”
The new course at Ghent University is the first in Europe to focus on the literary aspects of Swift’s work. It is a sign of the growing academic interest in Swift and her impact on popular culture.