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Taylor Swift conference at Indiana University draws presenters from across the globe

Taylor Swift conference examines the pop star

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana University held the first-ever academic conference dedicated solely to Taylor Swift. Experts from around the world came to Bloomington to dissect every aspect of the singer’s career.

Taylor Swift the Conference Era” drew presenters from as far away as Toronto, Canada, and Exeter, England, to discuss everything from Swift’s musical composition and lyricism to her fan base.

“When we talk about Taylor Swift, we’re talking about so much more than Taylor Swift,” said Amelia Morris, a presenter. “We’re talking about femininity, masculinity, gender, sexuality, capitalism, and the mainstream narrative doesn’t like to recognize the way that things that teen girls like have this cultural impact.”

Amelia Morris came all the way from Exeter, England, to present her paper about fan culture being a central part of pop culture, and how Swift fans use her music and conversations surrounding the popstar as a form of escapism.

“I basically argue that we can look at the fandom as tools of escapism and girls, predominately girls and young women, understanding their own identity through swift lyrics,” said Morris.

Catherine Bruno is a biology Ph.D. student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, but she came to this IU conference because she was interested in learning more about how Swift contributes to the arts and humanities.

“From the academic lens, it’s been very interesting to see how the arts and humanities view Taylor. How much work they actually are [doing] studying her,” Bruno said. “This afternoon, we were able to look at just her literary impact, her musical impact, how you can relate her to classical composers, classical writers as well.”

The conference dove into the marketing and economics around Taylor Swift, as well as her stardom, feminism and storytelling.