Take a deep breath, and walk through the doors — it’s the morning of your very first day. You’re buzzing, energised by a city where the lights are so bright yet never blinding, and follow your friends down the hall to your very first class on one of the world’s most influential singer-songwriters.
No, this isn’t an impossible dream. The latest Taylor Swift news includes a new course offered by New York University (NYU) on the famed Billboard Woman of the Decade herself.
Held at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, the course is centred around the singer’s artistic trajectory and impact on the music industry. According to Variety, it will cover Swift’s fearless evolution as a creative music entrepreneur, the legacy of pop and country songwriters that have influenced her, discourses of youth and girlhood, and the politics of race in contemporary popular music.
On top of that, the course will hone in on Swift’s reputation of attracting both acclaim and criticism among listeners. Here, Swifties will be taught to “deconstruct both the appeal and aversions to Taylor Swift” through “close readings of her music and public discourse as it relates to her own growth as an artist and a celebrity”. Topics such as copyright and ownership — both of which have shaped Swift’s narrative in significant ways — will be explored as well.
The course, which launched on Jan. 26, 2022 and will continue through to March 9, 2022, is taught by Rolling Stone senior writer Brittany Spanos, whose articles regularly encompass music, fandom and pop culture.
“I’ve been covering Taylor Swift since I began my writing career a decade ago and have been a fan of hers for even longer,” Spanos, who is also an alumnus at NYU, told Variety. “It’s such an honour to share my Swiftie expertise with a sharp group of students. I hope to help them rethink how to engage with one of the world’s biggest and sometimes divisive stars, in the same way Clive professors like Jason King, Vivien Goldman and Joe Levy did for me when I took their courses.”
for all those waiting on updates on how the taylor class is going, i played dear john more than once and went on a too long tangent about gaga’s 2009 vma performance (i promise i had a point)
— brittany spanos (@ohheybrittany) February 3, 2022
According to Variety, Swift herself has been invited to speak to the class, though the request is still pending at the moment. However, students shouldn’t lose hope. The Clive Davis Institute has a history of bringing in some of the most prominent names in the music industry, from Pharrell Williams to Alicia Keys. It may well succeed in attracting the likes of Swift — who is widely known for her surprise fan interactions — to its doors.
Taylor Swift news: NYU course explores her musical and pop culture impact
Swift has been instrumental in moulding the terrain of the music industry. As of 2022, she holds 11 Grammys, has sold over 3.34 million albums and has had eight Billboard Number One hits, one of which is a 10-minute song that broke records as the longest song to ever land the top spot. Musically, she proved that artists did not have to feel constrained by a particular genre by crossing over from country to pop — whilst still maintaining a dedicated fan base.
Swift’s personal life has been a subject of much debate. From her highly publicised feud with Kanye West to her longstanding dispute with her former record label, she has been loved and hated by both the public and the industry in spades. Combined, Swift’s journey has served to redefine the celebrity — a feat that has won her the title of Billboard’s Woman of the Decade.
THERE’S A NEW TAYLOR SWIFT COURSE IN NYU???? TAYLOR SWIFT IS OFFICIALLY BEING STUDIED AT UNIVERISITIES OMGGGGGG
— regina 🧣 (@futureofrep) February 2, 2022
It’s why Jason King, chair of the course, believes such a study is more relevant than ever for the next legion of music professionals. “To me, the class was a no-brainer,” King told Variety. “[Spanos] is a Taylor fan but she also understands how to contextualise her culturally, and get students to think more deeply about her and her music through the lens of gender, feminism, race, and class, and other categories related to identity, and that deeper thinking is what this programme is all about.”
The Clive Davis Institute
The Clive Davis Institute is renowned for its innovation in the field of music. It’s home to the first and only programme of its kind to provide professional business and artistic training towards a BFA in Recorded Music. Above all, the institute hopes to provide students with the necessary business, creative, and intellectual skills to succeed as visionary entrepreneurs in the global music industry.
Composed of the Institute of Performing Arts, the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, and the Institute of Emerging Media, Clive Davis is the ideal location for any aspiring entertainer. Programmes are offered across undergraduate and postgraduate levels, with options for high school, summer, and study abroad courses. Students graduate to become music producers, performing artists, songwriters, publishers, music journalists, and more.
The course on Swift isn’t the first of its kind. The institute has a history of offering classes on prominent musical artists such as Beyoncé. More than that, students at Clive Davis have been taught by notable names in the industry such as Questlove, “Dilla Time” author Dan Charnas, Q-Tip, legendary producer-engineer Bob Power, and many others.