Australia’s University of Melbourne will host the Swiftposium 2024 in February to better understand Taylor Swift’s global impact. The three-day event will be an international academic symposium and will coincide with Swift bringing her Eras Tour to the country.
While Swift has been the subject of several university courses in the U.S., this is the first time a global symposium is being held to examine her impact on everything from the music industry to fandom to pop culture to the economy. The event will take place Feb. 11-13 at the University of Melbourne, as well as online. It has been collaboratively organized by scholars from seven universities across Australia and New Zealand.
“Swiftposium is a hybrid academic conference for scholars to engage in critical dialogue about Swift’s popularity and its profound implications for a range of issues including gender, fandom, popular culture, literature, the economy, the music industry, and more,” the event’s website notes in a call for proposals. The site offers a list of possible topics, adding, “Critical engagement with the Taylor Swift phenomenon is encouraged, and diverse voices and opinions are welcome.”
Dr. Jennifer Beckett from the University of Melbourne is one of the Swiftposium organizers. She confirmed to the BBC that the idea for the symposium began with a half-serious tweet earlier this year, but has since snowballed.
“Taylor Swift really does have a very concrete impact globally, across things that affect all of us,” Beckett told the BBC. “World leaders are begging for her to bring the Eras Tour to their country because of the economic benefits that it brings.”
Speakers for Swiftposium will be finalized in the coming months. Beckett added that there are plans for a ticketed event for fans to take part and they would love Swift herself to participate.
“If Taylor Swift wants to come, I think all of us would have to spend some time picking our jaws up from the ground, but that invitation is definitely there,” Beckett said. “TayTay if you want to come, we’d love to have you.”
Last month, Arizona State University announced a new class, “Psychology of Taylor Swift — Advanced Topics of Social Psychology,” to teach “advanced topics in social psychology” that examine the Swift’s “work, her life, and her fans including romantic relationships, fiction/escapism, revenge, and social development.”
ASU’s class is just the latest university offering on Taylor academia. Earlier this year, Stanford University held a “All Too Well (Ten Week Version)” course as part of the school’s “Italic 99” courses, which was touted as “an in-depth analysis of Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well.’”
Last year, NYU offered students at its Clive Davis Institute a bespoke Taylor Swift class taught by Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos. “I want them to have fun listening to music and engage with pop music beyond the idea of pop as guilty pleasure,” Spanos told NYU Local. She added that she hoped students “learn how to appreciate that type of songwriting and listen to her and understand her beyond the way that the public has shaped her.”