The Last Great American Songwriter: Storytelling with Taylor Swift through the Eras

Theater and Performance Studies H&S - Humanities & Sciences

Course Description

This course delves into the art of songwriting, exploring the intricate interplay between literary references, lyricism, and storytelling techniques in Taylor Swift's discography, taking it "era by era." Students will analyze Swift's repertoire and draw parallels to classic works of literature and poetry, gaining a deep understanding of the narrative power of music. The course encourages viewing albums and songs as texts, aiming to understand how emotions and feelings are encapsulated through lyrics and how they connect with listeners. Students will explore how the structure of a song can resemble that of a novel, with the climax of the story akin to a song's bridge. This course will dissect Taylor Swift's evolution as a lyricist and her lasting impact on the music industry. We will also highlight what sets her apart from her contemporaries and her ability to influence cultural conversations beyond music. The course is capped at 20 students, so this application will be used to provide enrollment codes for selected students. Unfortunately, no auditing of this course will be allowed. The application is due March 1st at 12:00pm PT (noon). You will be notified by March 5th if you've been accepted into the course [enrollment opens March 6th]. Apply here: http://tinyurl.com/TaylorSwiftStanford2024.

Grading Basis

RSN - Satisfactory/No Credit





Course Repeatable for Degree Credit?


Course Component


Enrollment Optional?