Trans-Identifying Professor Will Teach Course On Taylor Swift At Harvard

Taylor Swift
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

A for-credit course on pop singer Taylor Swift will be offered at Harvard University for the spring semester, per the class’s instructor.

Stephanie Burt, a biological male who identifies as transgender, discussed the course “Taylor Swift and Her World” with TMZ. Burt said the class will include some details about Swift’s current romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce plus other details about her life, the outlet noted.

Burt told TMZ the course is already generating a lot of interest, with “hundreds” of students signing up for it.

“It’s a literature course,” Burt told Boston-based news outlet WCVB Channel 5 in an interview. “And it has a lot of songs and songwriting.” The course will be focused on Swift’s “lyrics and creative composition and how they’re connected to other page-based poets and authors” the interviewer explained. 

“You know, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who wrote some of their poems in the lake district, which Taylor has visited, and has a song about,” Burt said of making connections between Swift and literary figures from the past. 

“I love that I’m able to do this in a way that both gives people the chance to study and write about things they love and maybe build some bridges to things they would not have otherwise encountered that they might also love,” Burt added.


The course will also discuss how Swift uses social media, her stage presence, and fashion as “vehicles for her art.”

WCVB reported that an estimated 300 students have already signed up for the class.

“I think it’s really important to include popular music or culture into normal pedagogies to get students engaged, and I think that’d just be really fun,” graduate student Shayna Perates told the news station. 

Another student said the Swift course sounded “really cool,” while a third person said, “At the end of the day, I mean, there’s a reason people want to have a course on it: to have a discussion.”

The news report mentioned that students will be required to write papers for the class but will also be encouraged to express themselves in other ways, including creating music videos.

This is not the first time a class on Taylor Swift and her music has been offered at the college level. Ghent University in Belgium, the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University, Berklee College of Music, the University of California at Berkeley, Arizona State, New York University, and Stanford have all offered Swift-focused courses.

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