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Good News, Swifties! UP Diliman to Offer Taylor Swift Course

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Are you “certified Swifties” and would like to know and assess the life, experiences, and writings of the award-winning American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift?

Good news for students of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City! In the upcoming second semester, the UP College of Mass Communication will be offering a course that focuses on the globally renowned singer. 

Photo courtesy: UP Diliman website

According to a report, Cherish Aileen Brillon, a faculty member of the UP College of Mass Communication, mentioned that the course is centered on the “conception,” “construction,” and “performance” aspects of Taylor Swift as a celebrity.

It will also discuss how the public persona of the singer-songwriter is used to explain the relationship between people and media in terms of “class, politics, gender, race, and aspirations of success and mobility.”

Photo courtesy: Instagram/Taylor Swift

It will have a course title “BMAS 196 WWX – Celebrity Studies: Taylor Swift in Focus.”

“There have been many courses about Taylor Swift in universities abroad, and I think there hasn’t been one in the Philippines yet,” he said. â€œI think it’s time for us here in the Philippines to look at her in an in-depth manner.”

Photo courtesy: Instagram/Taylor Swift

Brillon also mentioned that she is interested in understanding and teaching how Filipinos perceive Taylor not only as a “transnational icon” but also as a “signifier” of the emerging type of local fandom activism.

Before UP, Taylor Swift courses were already being taught in other universities such as New York University, University of Texas, Arizona State University, Stanford University, and Harvard University.

Photo courtesy: Instagram/Taylor Swift

Netizens’ reactions and comments: Course versus Degree/Program

Several netizens gave their reactions and comments, questioning whether it would be beneficial to the Philippines and people’s lives. As expected, people’s reactions and reception regarding this are mixed.Some netizens, especially Swifties or fans of the singer, expressed their excitement about it, especially among those who are studying at UP.

However, many are also seeking “relevance” and questioning its purpose, as well as the kind of job one could get after graduating from this course. That’s why a comment from a netizen on an online newspaper about this has gone viral. “And pray tell me, what job can I get if ever I finished a course about this person?” the commenter said.

Netizens quickly responded and discussed the difference between the two. The terms “course” and “degree/program” are related to education but refer to different aspects. A “course” typically refers to an individual class or a specific unit of study within a broader subject or program. It can be a single academic class that focuses on a particular topic or subject matter. Courses are the building blocks that make up a degree or program.

A “degree” or “program” refers to a more comprehensive and structured educational path that usually consists of multiple courses. It is a set of courses grouped together to provide a well-rounded education in a specific field of study.

Photo courtesy: Unsplash

Completing a degree or program often leads to the awarding of a diploma, certificate, or degree at the undergraduate or graduate level. In summary, a “course” is a single class, while a “degree/program” encompasses a series of related courses designed to provide a broader understanding of a particular subject, leading to a qualification upon completion.

Taylor Swift as a Pop Culture Icon

Swift was relevant to popular culture for several reasons. Here are some reasons why she was considered relevant:

Musical Success: Taylor Swift is a highly successful and influential musician. She has achieved widespread commercial success with numerous hit songs across various genres, including country, pop, and indie folk.

Photo courtesy: Instagram/Taylor Swift

Versatility: Swift’s ability to evolve and experiment with her musical style has contributed to her longevity in the industry. She started as a country artist and transitioned to pop music, showcasing her versatility and attracting a diverse audience.

Songwriting Skills: Taylor Swift is known for her exceptional songwriting skills, often drawing from her personal experiences. Her relatable lyrics have resonated with fans, contributing to her popularity.

Cultural Impact: Swift has made a significant impact on popular culture through her involvement in social and political issues, as well as her relationships with other celebrities. Her influence extends beyond music into areas such as fashion, philanthropy, and activism.

Photo courtesy: Instagram/Taylor Swift

Engagement with Fans: Swift has built a strong connection with her fans, often engaging with them through social media platforms. This personal connection has helped maintain and grow her fan base.

Business Ventures: Beyond music, Swift has ventured into business, such as her ownership disputes over her master recordings and the re-recording of her earlier albums. These business moves have drawn attention to industry dynamics and artist rights.

Reputation and Public Persona: Swift’s public image and reputation, often portrayed in the media, have played a role in her relevance. Her personal life, relationships, and public feuds have generated headlines and kept her in the public eye. 

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo: Instagram/Taylor Swift

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