Two roads diverged in a wooden, and I … I shake it off.
The University of Texas at Austin is giving college students a likelihood to check Taylor Swift lyrics alongside works by such literary icons as Shakespeare, John Keats and yes, Robert Frost.
The faculty is offering an undergraduate course – “The Taylor Swift Songbook” – this fall as half of its liberal arts honours program. It comes on the heels of a Swift-themed class at New York University final spring that ended with the singer as the commencement speaker.
English Professor Elizabeth Scala advised CNN that she picked Swift as a result of the pop star writes her personal music and her lyrics might help illuminate comparable methods from traditional poetry.
“This is a course on her songs as literary writing and the methods a in style and award-winning author makes use of the similar literary gadgets, figures, and tropes of conventional poetry in her work,” she stated. “It is not about superstar or fame.”
Students will research Swift’s songs alongside the writings of Western literature greats.
“They’ll be requested to research and contextualize frequent practices and issues throughout the centuries,” Scala stated.
Scala is a self-described Swift fan and stated she aims to show literary traditions using a up to date lens.
“I wish to take what Swift followers can already do at a refined degree, tease it out for them a bit with a different vocabulary, after which present them how, in reality, Swift attracts on richer literary traditions in her songwriting, each topically but additionally formally in phrases of how she makes use of references, metaphors, and intelligent manipulations of phrases,” Scala stated.
“I’ll be exhibiting college students that these operations and interpretive strikes one makes when studying her songs are applicable to all types of writing.”
This being 2022, Scala additionally has arrange an Instagram for the class on which she posts Swift trivia and poses inquiries to followers.
The class will largely focus on songs from Swift’s current albums, however college students are free to carry up older songs for dialogue, Scala stated. With most of the lyrics posted on-line and the songs out there on Apple Music or Spotify, college students don’t have to purchase music for the class, she stated.
The course additionally will handle subjects similar to gender, authenticity, followers’ effect on artists and writers, and the way language historical past and linguistic traditions enrich the studying expertise, Scala stated.
“I believe it’s vital to attach the curriculum to the current, however, I’m not keen to cede the previous. This is my approach of sneaking the older materials again in with relevance,” she added.
In 2015, UT Austin introduced a class titled, “Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism” to discover Black feminism. Other universities even have made headlines for programs centered on pop stars, together with the University of Copenhagen’s “Beyoncé, Gender and Race” and a University of South Carolina sociology course devoted to the work of Lady Gaga.
Next spring, Texas State University will offer a class on British pop singer Harry Styles.