Taylor wasn’t joking around when she said ‘Well they didn’t teach you that in prep school so it’s up to me!’
The University of Melbourne in Australia has announced that an academic conference titled ‘Swiftposium’ will be held in 2024 to discuss the global and cultural impact of the phenomenon that is Taylor Swift. The conference will be held from February 11 -13, coincidently around the same time the ‘Anti Hero’ singer’s Eras tour concert will take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The organisers, scholars from seven Australian and New Zealand universities, have said the academic conference will be for scholars to “engage in critical dialogue about Swift’s popularity and its profound implications for a range of issues including gender, fandom, popular culture, literature, the economy, the music industry, and more.”
Organisers also said they will invite Taylor to make a special appearance.
The conference’s co-founder Jennifer Beckett, a senior lecturer in media and communications at the University of Melbourne, spoke to The Guardian about the purpose behind the conference.
“I think it’s very important to look at how celebrities or artists impact on our lives and the different facets of our life. Taylor Swift has such an outsized impact on elements of everyday life. For example, she’s been credited with drawing attention back to public transport in a post-pandemic era. A lot of the cities she’s going to – the public transport planners have been speaking out about adding extra services.”
It’s nothing new that Taylor has become a topic of academic discourses. A string of universities across the US has recently announced a variety of courses inspired by the ‘Reputation’ singer. Arizona State University announced in August that a course titled “Psychology of Taylor Swift — Advanced Topics of Social Psychology” will be offered to students, connecting various themes from Taylor’s music like revenge, trauma, anxiety- and link it to psychology.
In August 2022, University of Texas at Austin introduced ‘Literary Contests and Contexts — The Taylor Swift Songbook’, where the 12 time Grammy award winning’s music will be studied alongside masters of literature like Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare and Sylvia Plath.