‘Are you ready for it?’ New Taylor Swift class arrives for fall semester

New Taylor Swift class will be open to all majors starting in the fall of 2024. Photo credit: Roberta Macedo

The University of Miami is entering its Swiftie era with the new elective course, STC 290: The Mastermind of the Taylor Swift Brand, coming to campus in the fall of 2024.

The strategic communications class, which will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., is open to all majors.

Taught by Dr. Alyse Renee Lancaster, STC 290 will focus on the pivotal role that social media has played in crafting and amplifying Taylor Swift’s billion-dollar brand. Throughout the course, students will unravel the strategies Swift employed to captivate her global audience and foster strong brand loyalty for generations to come.

The idea for the class came to Lancaster while she was listening to a playlist of Swift’s songs while exercising. Now, she says she’s “never been more excited” to teach a course in her career.

“Every time I hear one of her songs, listen to one of her interviews or see a photo of her and Travis Kelce, more ideas for the class come to me, and the syllabus continues to evolve,” Lancaster said.

Junior Emma Craig, a biomedical engineering major and diehard Swiftie, plans to register for the course.

“It’s going to be a “Cruel Summer” waiting until fall for the new Taylor Swift class coming to UM,” Craig said. “I’ll be keeping my eyes open on the seats available.”

The class will explore Swift’s powerful storytelling ability, highlighting how her lyrics connect fans through relatable experiences and emotions.

Delving into Swift’s personal experiences, class discussions will cover key concepts such as freedom of speech, the right to privacy for public figures and the proliferation of fake news.

Students will get to analyze Taylor’s life experiences, Easter eggs and playful interactions that have allowed her to deepen her connection with fans over the years.

Charlotte Steffian, a sophomore English major, recognizes Swift as an exceptional storyteller.

“She captures specific moments and feelings,” Steffian said. “Take the whole love triangle thing with “Cardigan,” “August” and “Betty.” I want to watch that movie.”

The class, however, is not limited to Swifties. Even students who aren’t fans of the artist recognize her ability to sell her brand.

“I respect her as a businesswoman,” said Ariella Green, a freshman public relations major. “I appreciate what she’s done and have a lot of respect for her breaking grounds and going from country to pop and then her own style.”

Some students in the School of Communication look forward to taking the class and applying Swift’s successful tactics to their own careers.

“I think the topic of this class heavily aligns with what I have learned so far at UM, and I am interested in closely analyzing Taylor’s communication strategies and how they have gotten her to where she is now,” said Ava Prinzo, a sophomore majoring in creative advertising.

Though Lancaster recognizes some may see a class on Swift as a waste of time or “dumbing down education,” she believes studying the artist will show the power of brand-building and bring joy to the students in her class.

“It’s impossible to talk about Taylor Swift and not have fun, because spreading joy is, in essence, what Taylor Swift’s brand is all about,” Lancaster said. “And given all of the worrisome things happening in the world today, what’s wrong with spreading a little joy and happiness among stressed-out college students?”

Be ‘Swift’ about enrolling for STC 290, as limited seats are available. Students can add the class to their CaneLink shopping cart now, as registration begins on Monday, April 1.