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Previewing the first-ever Taylor Swift academic conference in Bloomington

First-ever Taylor Swift academic conference this weekend

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana University is hosting the first-ever academic conference dedicated solely to Taylor Swift.

Conference organizers are asking “Are you ready for it?” as they are expecting 650 people a day at the Buskirk Chumley Theater to hear keynote speeches and smaller panels starting at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

“We are just really excited to be talking about Taylor Swift from an academic lens,” said Natalia Almanza, a program coordinator for IU Arts and Humanities Council. “We received over 75 applications just to be featured in this conference, and we’re really excited to be hosting about 30 global and local scholars.”

Many have wondered just what is there to talk about for two days when it comes to Swift. Topics include her public persona, activism, lyricism, storytelling, fan base, and marketing.

“Obviously, we’re going to be talking about her music and what it takes to create an album like she does, what it takes to write songs like she does,” said Almanza.

One of the bigger headlines coming out of her Eras tour was just how much her concerts impacted the US economy. Indianapolis will have a chance to reap the benefits of this tour in November 2024 when Swift performs for three nights of the Eras Tour at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“But we’re also going to be talking about her as an economic force,” Almanza said. “There’s a whole keynote about Taylor Swift, money, and what her tours do for local economies.”

Almanza said these multi-disciplinary experts are itching to dive into the many aspects of the superstar.

“In the arts and humanities council, we’re always looking for ways to root our work in its humanist roots, and find ways to connect to people in different ways,” Almanza said. “Taylor Swift just tends to be someone with so many broad-ranging topics that you can just talk about and that you can kinda apply these different lenses to.”

Almanza noted Swift is more than what she is often portrayed as, and this conference will dive into all aspects of her career.

The conference will last for two days, and will be packed full of speakers from all over the country and the world. There will be additional events leading up to and after the conference.