Watch CBS News

Harvard University to offer "Taylor Swift and Her World" course

Harvard University offering new Taylor Swift course this spring
Harvard University offering new Taylor Swift course this spring 00:21

CAMBRIDGE - Harvard University is entering its Taylor Swift era. The prestigious college in Cambridge will be offering an English course on the massively popular singer-songwriter in the spring 2024 term.

"Today she's the most recognizable country-- or formerly country? or pop?-- artist in North America, if not the world: her songwriting takes in half a dozen genres, and her economic impact changes cities," the course description for "English 183ts. Taylor Swift and Her World" states.

Swift is in the middle of her international "Eras" tour that brought her to Foxboro earlier this year. With the release of her re-recorded "1989" album and tour movie in October, she reportedly achieved billionaire status. 

What will be taught in Harvard's Taylor Swift class?

Course instructor Stephanie Burt will have students do a lot more than write about their favorite Taylor tracks.

"We will learn how to study fan culture, celebrity culture, adolescence, adulthood and appropriation; how to think about white texts, Southern texts, transatlantic texts, and queer subtexts," Harvard's website says.

Students will also learn about Swift's predecessors in music like Dolly Parton, and "read literary works important to her."

In an interview with the Harvard Crimson, Burt said the singer's transition from country to pop music will be studied as it relates to broader political shifts in the country.

"Taylor Swift is someone who establishes complicated and changing relationships to the idea of Americanness and to the idea of white Americanness and of middle America," Burt told the newspaper.

Harvard is not the first college to offer a course in all things Taylor. Boston's Berklee College of Music currently has a class covering Swift's songwriting techniques, aimed at helping aspiring artists to write their own material. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.