79° Fort Worth
All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
How TCU's alumni chapters keep the Horned Frog spirit alive post-grad
By Addison Thummel, Staff Writer
Published May 11, 2024
TCU graduates can stay connected with the Horned Frog community with alumni chapters across the nation.

TCU offers two new Taylor Swift-inspired courses

Taylor+Swift+arrives+at+the+66th+annual+Grammy+Awards+on+Feb.+4%2C+2024%2C+in+Los+Angeles.+%28AP+Photos%2FJordan+Strauss%29+
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Taylor Swift arrives at the 66th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 4, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photos/Jordan Strauss)

Taylor Swift’s lyrics have been embraced as a learning tool and put to use in classrooms at TCU.

Other universities across the country, including Harvard, Stanford and Rice, are offering entire courses dedicated to studying Taylor Swift’s lyricism and cultural impact, according to an article posted at BestColleges.com

Swift is the latest musician to have a course built around her art. Several years ago, TCU offered an honors course that focused on Beyonce’s “Lemonade” album. 

PSYC 40950, entitled “Psychology (Taylor’s Version),” is taught by Dr. Naomi Ekas. The class analyzes Taylor Swift’s worldwide popularity as a psychological phenomenon. 

“I’ve always used music and videos in my courses, and as a big Taylor Swift fan, I couldn’t help but see how much psychology is present in her writing and videos,” Ekas said. “In addition, my students are always talking about Taylor, and I thought it would be fun to see if I could design an entire course around the themes present in her music.”

Ekas said she began thinking about this class more than a year ago in hopes of teaching psychology concepts in a way that are easily relatable.  

“Sometimes theories and research can be really abstract and hard to understand, but when you can connect to something relevant in your real life, like Taylor Swift, it can make things click,” Ekas said.

There are now 70 students taking the class, however, 200 students attempted to enroll, showing tremendous interest in the subject of Swift. 

Mason Patterson teaches a Taylor Swift and Poetic Legacies Course on Monday, February 5, 2023.
(Photo courtesy of Bonnie Misetich).

ENGL 10113, “Taylor Swift and Poetic Legacies,” taught by graduate student Mason Patterson, is an introduction to poetry course with a goal to help students understand that poetry is neither difficult nor dull, but is understandable, worthwhile and enjoyable. 

“Poetry and music are closely connected arts, with lyrics often being considered poetry that is set to music,” Patterson said. “So, while I was planning my poetry course, I decided to dedicate every Monday to analyzing specific songs as poems, then use the themes we identified in her songs as points for the poems we would read later that week.” 

As a lifelong Swiftie herself, Patterson incorporated Swift’s artistry and lyricism into her course in an attempt to help her students discover poetry as an accessible and exciting genre.  

“I wanted to create a dialogue between poetry, music and the students, and I think Taylor Swift, who is one of the most well-known and well-respected modern pop stars, is a great way to show how the different arts work together,” Patterson said.  

“I definitely have had an easier time grasping concepts and staying more engaged in these classes because I am able to connect each lesson to someone I look up to and love,” Bonnie Misetich, a senior strategic communication major and psychology minor, said. 

Taylor Swift’s recent announcement of her upcoming album, titled “The Tortured Poet’s Department,” reinforces the idea that Taylor’s music is an art form and that she is a poet, not just a pop star. 

This album will provide even more material for universities to teach about the cultural icon that is Taylor Swift. 

More to Discover