Gamecocks (Taylor’s Version): USC adds Taylor Swift business, entertainment course

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Life is just a classroom. And in one University of South Carolina classroom, the subject is Taylor Swift.

The course will focus on Swift’s business acumen and her “agency as a woman” in the industry, according to Allen Wallace with the university’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, our partners at ABC Columbia report.

Swift has long pushed the boundaries of mainstream pop music and has gained a wildly loyal fan base in doing so. From “America’s Sweetheart” teenage country star to Spotify’s Top Global Artist and Grammy Award-winning international pop icon, Swift has navigated a complex political corner of the music industry.

Wallace says the course examines the recent re-recording of her albums in a business move to legally own her music catalog. Her “Era” branding, social media, tour management and merchandising will also be studied.

Kate Blanton, an academic advisor at the college, will teach the course starting in spring 2024.

South Carolina joins Harvard, Stanford, and several other universities in adding the Swift-based course.

Swift’s real-world impact

Blanton, a self-proclaimed Swiftie, has created the evergreen course for upper-level students called “Life is Just a Classroom: Taylor’s Version.” The course title plays off lyrics in Swift’s song, New Romantics, recently re-released in the album 1989 (Taylor Version).

“Life is just one big classroom, and I thought it was the perfect title for a class about Taylor Swift,” Blanton said.

She spoke to Channel 9′s Genevieve Curtis about what exactly the course entails. It’s a semester-long case study in how Swift, a “Fearless” “Mastermind,” is making a mark on multiple industries.

“We’re going to be looking at the economic impact that her events and concerts have in different cities across the U.S. and across the globe,” Blanton told Curtis.

Students will examine Swift’s influential marketing, hospitality and entertainment management.

Blanton said the “Devil’s in the Details.” With Swift re-recording her albums, “Everything has Changed.”

“She is changing the way that the music industry is managing artists and allowing them to have ownership over their music,” Blanton said.

Students will even study the Ticketmaster glitch and how it could alter ticket distribution “Evermore.”

“It’s not happening in other countries because resale -- it’s highly regulated,” Blanton said.

“There are many things about her life we can all take something from,” she added.

“Are you hoping for a guest lecturer?” Curtis asked.

“You never know, you never know,” she said.

The class has gotten so much hype that they’re also going to open up a class to the community. Blanton will teach it two nights a week.

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Cassia Sari, wsoctv.com

Cassia is a content center producer for Channel 9.

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