/ 27 January 2024

THE University of the Philippines professor who will teach a course about global pop icon Taylor Swift released an explanation about the subject after gaining tremendous reactions about the course being offered.

UP Broadcast Communication Prof. Cherish Aileen Brillon said that the course dubbed “Celebrity Studies: Taylor Swift in Focus” showed reactions that are “conservative,” the icon is a good discussion point, noting that she can be analyzed through the lenses of political economy, cultural products, gender, Philippine media studies, among others.

“Using Taylor Swift as an example situates the course in a transnational media ecology/environment vastly different from what has been previously studied. Filipinos’ relationship with and consumption of celebrities has changed (though they remained the same in some aspects) due to the internet,” Brillon said as posted on UP’s website.

“There is also a political dimension to the focus on Taylor Swift. As a Swiftie, I know that in 2020, when there were so few local celebrities who raised their voices against the Anti-Terror Bill in the Philippines, she amplified this specific issue in her social media accounts (don’t worry, I am not blind to her less-than-ideal stances on other issues, and that will be tackled in class),” the professor added.

The course about Swift will be an elective under the BA Broadcast Media and Studies in the second semester of the Academic Year 2023-2024.

The course will focus mainly on the conception, construction, and performance of the 34-year-old music idol as a celebrity. Her story can be used in class regarding media’s relationship with class, politics, gender, race, and success and mobility.

Courses about Swift are nothing new as schools like Stanford University, New York University, and Harvard, among others, have also offered courses about the artist.

The Philippines has been Swift’s biggest market. In 2022, Quezon City ranked as one of the artists’ top listeners at no. 5 behind cities like London, New York, Sydney, and Melbourne.