Become a Taylor Swift 'Mastermind' with this new course coming to Penn State Berks

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Friday, February 9, 2024
Taylor Swift course to be offered at Penn State campus this fall
Taylor Swift course to be offered at Penn State campus this fall

READING, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Swifties, are you ready for it? Taylor Swift fans will soon be able to fill "Blank Space" and become a "Mastermind" with a new course that will soon be offered at Penn State Berks campus.

The school, near where the popstar grew up, announced Friday that it will begin offering a unique course starting in the fall 2024 semester that "explores Swift's impact and her portrayal in the media."

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The course, titled "Taylor Swift, Gender, and Communication," will hold 100 seats with 50 spots reserved for current Berks students and the other 50 spots available for incoming first-year students.

The course, developed by longtime self-proclaimed Swiftie Michele Ramsey, is cross-listed as both a communications arts and sciences and a women's studies class.

"When you watch social media posts of the concerts or 'Eras Tour' movie screenings, you see so many important things happening," Ramsey said. "You see legions of women - grandmothers, moms, young women, teens, tweens, younger girls and those who don't fit into our strict social constructions of gender and sex identity - daring to take up space to enjoy something they love together."

While university officials say this course is different than one's offered at other universities, there is no "Bad Blood" because it examines Swift's cultural and musical impact, as well as her portrayal in the media rather than focusing on Swift's marketing strategies or how her lyrics fit into literary canon.

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"Taylor Swift is not only loved by younger generations, and there's a good reason for that," Ramsey said. "She shows vulnerability in her music by speaking honestly about her life and many of those tribulations are linked to how we treat most women in our society. Taylor's songs speak to generations of people whose stories have not been the center of civilization, movies, TV shows or music."

To learn more about the course, visit the Penn State Berks website.