LAWRENCE, Kan. (WDAF) — A professor at the University of Kansas is teaching a class about Taylor Swift.
The class is called “The Sociology of Taylor Swift.” It’s designed to teach sociology concepts in a way students say is fun and in style.
Brian Donovan is the professor behind the class at KU.
“I am a Swiftie,” he said.
So it only makes sense he’s a Swiftie and went to the Era’s Tour when Taylor Swift was in Kansas City.
Before he created the course, Donovan says his students would find a way to “speak now” about Swift.
“They would bring up Taylor even if she was even just tangentially related to the topic at hand, and that made me think, ‘oh, I could teach an entire class about Taylor,'” he said.
This August, he did. Donovan has 10 students an hour a week, and Taylor Swift is the focus. He says they use her as a launching pad to look into different aspects of American society and culture.
“What might seem frivolous or maybe a waste of time and meaningless on the surface is actually meaningful to people, and it brings them joy, and that’s more important than ever during these pandemic times,” Donovan said.
Alexis Greenberg is the seminar assistant and takes part in discussions.
“I have people all the time tell me, I tried to get in that class, and it was full,” she said.
In the first three weeks, they discussed Swift’s impact on the economy and have now moved on to T-Swift and Travis Kelce.
Reports say this week’s game drew the biggest Sunday NFL audience since last season’s Super Bowl. Some call it the “Swiftie effect.”
Greenberg isn’t surprised. She’s seen this Grammy award-winning singer bring a campus together. She’s president of the KU Swift Society.
“This seems like a perfect opportunity to get to know more people on our campus that aren’t in your major, or aren’t in your social circles or aren’t in your religion, and it’s been amazing to see how diverse of a group we can form to in terms of all kinds of academic disciplines and all kinds of backgrounds,” Greenberg said.
This semester, the class was only open to freshman honor students, and they would love to have Swift as a guest speaker.
“We would roll out the red carpet for Taylor the next time she’s in Kansas City,” Donovan said. “Perhaps watching her favorite NFL team.”
The class will be open to all KU students next fall.