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[LifeStyle]Swifterature : Taylor-Swift inspired course


Wassim

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While universities in the United States might be the first to include courses and units on popstar Taylor Swift’s legendary lyrics, Europe is swiftly catching up with the University of Ghent in Belgium launching its own Taylor Swift-inspired literature course. The course titled “Literature: Taylor’s Version” — a reference to the singer’s re-recorded album titles — will be taught by British professor Elly McCausland. Due to start in the fall, it will be added to the master’s degree in language and literature. McCausland, who is also the author of the blog “Swifterature”, which compares the popstar’s themes, imagery and use of language to prolific writers like Sylvia Plath, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare, told The Guardian that she has never received so many emails from excited students asking if they can take the course.

 

“And actually, non-students as well, people who are not part of the university and who want to participate in some way,” she said. The professor pitched the idea of a Swift-centered elective — first of its kind in Europe — after the singer’s lyrics drew a parallel with the English literature she had long studied. “Highly prolific and autobiographical in her songwriting, Swift makes frequent allusions to canonical literary texts in her music,” the class syllabus explains. “Using Swift’s work as a springboard, we will explore, among other topics, literary feminism, ecocriticism, fan studies, and tropes such as the anti-hero. Swift’s enduring po[CENSORED]rity stems, at least in part, from the heavily intertextual aspect of her work, and this course will dig deeper to explore its literary roots.

 

” Freedom Sale In Swift’s song The Great War McCausland saw a resemblance to how Plath spoke about war and battle to convey her pain in the poem Daddy, while the singer’s Mad Woman and the story it tells about patriarchy and mental health saw echoes of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper. “What I want to do is show students that although these texts might seem inaccessible, they can be accessible if we look at them from a slightly different angle,” McCausland told the outlet. “So, Shakespeare, in some way, is actually addressing a lot of the same questions as Taylor Swift is today, which seems crazy. But he is.” 

 

But Swift isn’t the first pop star to attract the attention of academia. Before this, Beyoncé’s visual album “Lemonade” and its relationship to Black feminism was unpacked by the University of Texas in an English Literature course. The University of Copenhagen too began offering “Beyoncé, Gender and Race”. However, McCausland’s course has not been received well by everyone, with critics calling it frivolous and silly. But, in general, the atmosphere has been cordial with many people enthusiastic about it. “There’s been only a couple of outright critical voices, and that only really reaffirms what I’m trying to do — even the hate mail I find quite wonderful, to be honest! I mean, don’t print that quote as in ‘send more hate mail’ please,” she told CNN.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/taylor-swift-inspired-literature-course-belgian-university-8894922/

 

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