Taylor Swift’s songs studied at a Belgian university from the start of the school year: “It’s also important to study modern female stars”

”Literature: Taylor’s version” will establish a link between the titles of the singer and great authors of English literature. “I want to show my students how much fun English literature can be”explains the Briton Elly McCausland, professor of this course and fan of the singer, to our colleagues from Het Laatste Nieuws. Sometimes students lose the feeling that they are studying something useful because it is so old. You have to learn how our history influences our modern literature.”

Or when the Swifties – the name given to Taylor Swift fans – passionate about Taylor Swift songs can now use their talents in academia. Indeed, the University of Ghent has just launched this optional course entitled “Literature: Taylor’s Version”. “In her titles she refers to themes that also appear in ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and even ‘Alice in Wonderland’, she continues in the Flemish newspaper. It also gives them a rebellious side. For example, she often mentions the ‘prince on the white horse’, although she writes in her lyrics that she would rather ride that horse herself”.

As for the critics, she brushes them aside. “There have already been enough books about Shakespeare and other now-deceased white authors. It is also important to study modern female stars”, she defends herself at Het Laatste Nieuws. “I get that not everyone understands the importance of a class on a pop star, but Taylor Swift is selling out on big stages. Studies show that it has a positive impact on the local economy of the places where it occurs. She represents a pop phenomenon that resonates with a wide audience. The lyrics of his songs are understood by many. It is therefore important to take a critical look at the songs we listen to every day.”

“Shakespeare answers the same questions Taylor Swift does today, which sounds crazy. But it does.”

Taylor Swift becomes the female artist with the most number 1 albums in the United States

Elly McCausland notably observed the same theme of patriarchy and sanity in the song Mad Woman and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. Or The Great War from Taylor’s Midnights album and its similarity to the pain of war in Sylvia Plath Daddy’s poem. “I kind of thought, why isn’t anyone talking about this?”explains Elly McCausland to the Guardian. What I want to do is show students that even though these texts may seem inaccessible, they can be accessible if we look at them from a slightly different angle. So Shakespeare, in a way, actually answers a lot of the same questions as Taylor Swift does today, which sounds crazy. But it is nevertheless the case.”

In short, registration for this optional course, “Literature: Taylor’s Version”, should start in the fall. As the release states, students can expect to use “Swift’s work as a springboard to explore everything from 14th century writings to Margaret Atwood’s interpretation of The Tempest”. And the professor to conclude, still at the Guardian. “The focus is on literature, but I also want us to think critically about Swift.”

For the final anecdote, this is not the first university to embark on this kind of project. Stanford, Calif., also discussed plans to launch a second course focused on the same artist dubbed “The Last Great American Songwriter,” a student-led class that will further explore Taylor’s cultural impact through his albums.

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