The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Taylor Swift poetry class coming to UI in the fall

The UI’s Honors Program is introducing a class covering Taylor Swift’s music and lyricism next semester.
John Charlson/The Daily Iowan
Candice Wuehle poses for a portrait at the Blank Honors Center on Monday, April 29, 2024.

Swifties in the University of Iowa Honors Program will take a deep dive into Taylor Swift’s music and her songwriting in a course come August.

The course, taught by Honors Scholarship Coordinator Candice Wuehle, will examine the poetic techniques found in the lyrics of Swift’s songs and explore the cultural impact both Swift and her fans have had in pop culture.

Swift, with 110 million monthly listeners on Spotify and 11 full albums — four of which she has re-recorded — released her newest collection, “The Tortured Poets Department,” on April 19, which added 31 songs to her discography.

The artist’s ongoing world tour “The Eras Tour” began on March 17, 2023, and will resume on May 9 in Paris to continue the tour’s second leg. She sold 4.3 million tickets in the first leg, which made her over $1 billion.

This course will be worth three semester hours of credit, with a maximum capacity of 22 students. Wuehle said students will write short analyses of an aspect of Swift’s work from a critical perspective.

”I’m a poet and have taught creative writing courses for the last ten years, plus I love Taylor Swift. So when I heard about Indiana University’s Taylor Swift conference on an episode from The New York Times The Daily podcast, it occurred to me that it would be a fun experience to bring to UI’s honors students,” Wuehle said.

Throughout the class, Wuehle hopes students will make friends and meet like-minded Swifties who might not have otherwise connected on campus.

First-year UI student Aishani Kundu, a double major in psychology and English and creative writing, will join the course as an undergraduate teaching assistant and is very excited to be part of it as a fellow Swiftie.

”I have been writing poetry since middle school, and being able to analyze Taylor’s lyricism and unravel poetry in them is something I’ve always dreamed of doing in a classroom setting,” Kundu said.

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She said the application process to be a teaching assistant was fun because she got to share everything that makes her love Swift and talk about the singer’s influence on her own writing.

Kundu said she is excited to work with Wuehle because of her connection to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and hopes to apply one day.

Jonah Schwartz, a UI first-year creative writing major who will also take the class, said it was interesting to be able to learn about writing through a medium he’s very familiar with.

Schwartz said his favorite Swift albums are “Folklore” and “Evermore” due to their softer sounds and the lyricism throughout both albums.

He added that he got to see the Eras Tour on April 29, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia.

”I think her music is fun and I like her storytelling, which will definitely be helpful for a writing-led class,” Schwartz said.

Editor’s note: Aishani Kundu is a former employee of The Daily Iowan.

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