Taylor Swift Course In UP Diliman: Why Study Her Music?

The Taylor Swift course is real and this is being offered in one of the top universities in the Philippines.

TAYLOR SWIFT COURSE – To study the life and artistry of the American singer-songwriter is being offered at the University of the Philippines – Diliman (UPD) in Quezon City.

The life and artistry of 14-time Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift is being offered as a course in the University of the Philippines – Diliman (UPD) in Quezon City, one of the top universities in the Philippines. This is led by Cherish Brillon, a professor in the broadcast communications department. The professor is a “Swiftie” herself.

University Of The Philippines
Photo from University Of The Philippines

Brillon is teaching “Celebrity Studies: Taylor Swift in Focus” at the College of Mass Communication in UP Diliman.

Why Teach Taylor Swift?

In a context written by the lead professor, this media course is “very interesting and eye-opening”, however, “it remained conservative, rigid, and hierarchical, especially on what is deemed as worth studying and worth paying attention to”.

The introduction of this course is a bit controversial but the professor believes that celebrity studies is part of the broader field of media and popular culture studies. There are social scholars like Soledad Reyes, Roland Tolentino, Wendell Capili, Johven Velasco, Louie Jon Sanchez, and Alfonso Deza who studied celebrities which makes her not the first one to teach this. Moreover, her department offer other media fields to study like p*rn and KDramas.

But for the course about Taylor Swift, this is the first in UP and probably the first in Asia. Some of the world’s top universities Harvard, Stanford, and NYU also offer courses about the American singer-songwriter.

Why Taylor?

The professor wrote:

“I always answer, why not? A lot of foreign scholars study us, our cultural products, and our discourses, so why can’t we study theirs and put forth knowledge claims and pathways that come from us being Filipinos existing and participating in a global stage? And isn’t this a core part of UP’s raison d’être? To provide a space that will generate conversations. To lead in the conduct of scholarly and enriching discourse that puts value on the importance of humanities and social sciences. To recognize that what may seem trivial to others may be worth a closer, deeper examination, toward greater understanding of the Filipino experience in contemporary society.”

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