This semester, the University of Texas at Austin will offer a course looking into Swift’s expansive discography. Just ask any T. Swift fan, or “Swiftie,” and they’ll tell you her lyricism and songwriting is unmatched. Have you heard “All Too Well”?
The course is being taught to undergraduates in the Liberal Arts Honors program by English professor Elizabeth Scala.
Part of what makes Swift’s songs a good canvas for a literature course is that Swift is an autobiographical and topical songwriter, Scala said.
Students in the course will look at “literary traditions and forms through a distinctly contemporary lens,” according to the course announcement. They’ll also be comparing her work to Western literature like Shakespeare, Keats and Frost.
“I want to take what Swift fans can already do at a sophisticated level, tease it out for them a bit with a different vocabulary, and then show them how, in fact, Swift draws on richer literary traditions in her songwriting, both topically but also formally in terms of how she uses references, metaphors, and clever manipulations of words,” Scala said.
It’s not the only university course on a pop icon in the state. Texas State University will soon offer a course on Harry Styles starting in spring 2023.