Let Me Audit NYU’s Taylor Swift Course

I’ve already done all the reading

Taylor Swift attends the "All Too Well" premiere at AMC Lincoln Square on November 12, 2021 in New Y...
NYU (Taylor's Version)

As an alum of the prestigious hospital/real estate development company New York University, I am aware of the fact that you can take a class in just about anything. It’s a big selling point on the tours they give to prospective students who can’t fully grasp the fact that they’re about to be suckered out of a quarter of a million dollars. In the spirit of “Do Whatever You Want So Long As The Check Clears,” NYU is now offering a class on Taylor Swift, taught by Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos. I want to audit it more than anything.

According to Variety, the class started on January 26, which means that I’m only two classes behind, but I’m sure that as a devout Swiftie I would have no problem catching up. The course description reads, “This course proposes 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.” That just sounds like the conversations me and the girls are already having in a group chat affectionately titled “Taylor’s Version.”

I actually already have some ideas for papers I could write were I to be accepted into the class. Do you want to hear their titles?

  • From Joe (Jonas) to Joe (Alwyn): A Media Archeology of the Effects of the “Serial-Dater” Narrative on Taylor Swift’s Musicality
  • Only Bought This Dress So You Could Take It Off: Kaylor, Womyn Who Code, and Sapphic Readings of Taylor Swift’s Music
  • Bad Blood: Transnational Perspectives on Radicalized Stan Armies
  • I Made That Bitch Famous: The Lasting Effects of the 2009 VMAs on the Careers of Both Taylor Swift and Kanye West (and Gender or Something)
  • I Hate That Stupid Old Pickup Truck: A History of Country-Pop Crossover in the 21st Century Through the Lens of Taylor Swift
  • No Body, No Crime: Let’s Bury Scooter Braun in a Ditch

Those sound pretty good, no? I promise that I would put more effort into this class than I did in Cultures & Contexts: Indigenous Australia or either semester of Writing the Essay. I’ve also already done all of the reading, which I assume is every major profile of her ever written. Remember when she told Rolling Stone, “Like speakers… Speakers put sound out . . . so can’t they take sound in?” I do.

I know that I have not stepped foot in an NYU building since 2017 (except for the occasional use of the Tisch bathroom), but I don’t think that should mean anything. Learning never stops, and NYU has enough of my money that I should be allowed to just pop in whenever and start learning all over again. I’ll be at the next class prepared to derail the entire conversation by asking which re-release everyone thinks is coming next.