A Literature Course At A Belgian University Is Based On Taylor Swift


A Literature Course At A Belgian University Is Based On Taylor Swift:

Elly McCausland’s course at Ghent University has a lot of works through Geoffrey Chaucer, Charlotte Bront, as well as William Shakespeare on the list of things to study.

But the addition of Taylor Swift, a singer-songwriter who writes a lot, is what has people talking. “I’ve never had so many messages from excited students inquiring if they are able to take the course,” stated McCausland, an assistant professor at a Belgian university.

McCausland Came Up With The Plan:

And not just students, but also people who aren’t part of the university but want to take part in some way.

McCausland came up with the idea of a Swift-focused option, which is thought to be the initial of its kind within Europe. She did this because she was often struck by the similarities between Swift’s songs and English literature, which she had studied for a long time.

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In Swift’s The Great War, she saw echoes of how Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” used war and battle to show how she felt, and in Swift’s “Mad Woman,” she saw similarities to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” “I kind of wondered why no one was talking about it.”

Literature Taylor’s Version, which will start in the fall, will take advantage of these connections. It will use Swift’s work as a jumping off point to study everything from writings from the 14th century to Margaret Atwood’s version of The Tempest.

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She told the kids, “I want to show them that even though these messages might seem hard to understand, they can be understood if we look at them from an alternate angle.”

So, in some ways, Shakespeare answers a lot of the same things that Taylor Swift does now, which is crazy. Still, he is. McCausland said that she had met people upon social media who didn’t trust her plan.

“But I think that’s actually a sign that this is what’s needed,” she said, comparing it to how people reacted when Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in writing in 2016. “It makes people talk about what writing is and what should be in the canon. Can any story be called literature?”

She is not the first person to bring Taylor Swift into a college classroom. In 2022, a course at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute about the singer’s “appeal and aversions” was said to be the first step in her move into education.

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Since then, another half dozen or so classes have popped up across the US that look at different parts of the artist. She recently became the first woman to have 4 albums within the Top 10 of the US album charts at the same time.

McCausland had been quick to agree that other artists’ work could be used to make similar classes. But as a “longtime Swiftie,” it was clear to her that Swift’s songs, which are often full of literary references, earned a closer look.

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The Course Is Going To Be Taught By Elly McCausland, A British Professor:

Elly McCausland, a British professor, will teach the class. She will use Swift’s writing as a starting point to look at books from different times and places. The Literature course will be adding to the master’s degree within literature and language. It will begin in the fall.

In 2022, the singer talked about how her writing style changed depending on the tool she imagined herself using. For example, a quill might lead to a 19th-century poem, a fountain pen to a modern personal story, and a glitter-gel pen to songs that were fun and upbeat.

McCausland said that Swift was the best writer to study because she could switch between styles and write deeply personal lines that spoke to everyone.

McCausland added, “I would like the students to realize that the media they use every day, like music, Netflix, podcasts, TikTok, as well as whatever, should be thought about in the same way they might think about the things they study.”

The expert also said that she saw similarities between Swift’s “The Great War” and how Sylvia Plath wrote regarding war as well as fighting in her poem “Daddy” to show how painful it made her feel.

The Clive Davis Institute Began A Study Inspired By Swift Last Year:

McCausland stated that the “primary focus was literature” and that the class wouldn’t be about making a fan club, but would be based on studies. She is not the initial person to play Swift in a college class.

Last year, a study at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute was based on Swift. It talked about how Swift has changed as a businesswoman in the music industry.

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It also talked about the legacy of pop as well as country musicians, the themes of youth as well as girlhood, as well as the politics of race within popular music today.