This year alone Taylor Swift has captured the nation’s attention onstage, in movie theaters, and a growing number of football stadiums.
Now, owing to a new class offered at the University of California, Berkeley, we’ll see the work of Taylor Swift featured in a new venue: the classroom.
According to the course website, the elective – fittingly called Artistry & Entrepreneurship: Taylor’s Version – will study Swift’s “prolific success as a songwriter, businesswoman, and creative influence.” Discussions will focus on the enormous economic and cultural impact Swift has had on the music industry, and students will “analyze performance and interview clips, discuss media portrayal and perceptions, and develop working definitions of Swift’s role in society—and yours.”
This student-run course is set to debut in spring 2024 at the Haas School of Business and will be facilitated by a couple of Swifties, sophomore Data Science student Sofia Lendahl, and recent alumna Crystal Haryanto. The website does not detail the number of spots nor the enrollment process for what I’m sure will be an oversubscribed elective. I am proactively sending thoughts and prayers to the academic advisors who will be fielding panicked inquiries about this class for the next three months.
UC Berkeley isn’t the first university to enter their “Taylor Swift Era.” Lists on Billboard and BestColleges show that there are already Taylor Swift offerings at New York University, Stanford, the University of Texas, Arizona State, Rice, the Berklee College of Music, and the University of Florida (announced for spring 2024).
This has been quite a year already for Swift with The Eras Tour and movie, and her highly publicized relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. The new course at UC Berkeley is just another way Swift continues to influence our hearts and minds in a growing number of venues and contexts.