Swiftposium: Australian universities to host academic conference on Taylor Swift's global impact

Yes, there really is an academic conference being held about Taylor Swift.

Global superstar Taylor Swift will be the focus of an academic symposium in Australia.

Swiftposium is a three-day conference hosted by the University of Melbourne which will highlight the impact Taylor Swift has had on music, culture and society.

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It is set to take place just before Swift’s record-breaking Eras Tour arrives in the country, with a panel of experts set to discuss the Time 2023 Person of the Year’s influence on everything from the music industry to society in general.

…Are you ready for it? Here is everything you need to know about Swiftposium 2024.

What is Swiftposium?

Swiftposium is a hybrid academic conference which will see scholars from a range of backgrounds engage in critical conversation about the influence Taylor Swift holds over various aspects of contemporary life.

While the star herself won’t be appearing, discussions surrounding Swift’s popularity and her influence as one artist will be held on issues such as gender, fandom, popular culture, literature, the economy, the music industry and more.

Taylor Swift announced her upcoming album during the Grammy Awards. Image: GettyTaylor Swift announced her upcoming album during the Grammy Awards. Image: Getty
Taylor Swift announced her upcoming album during the Grammy Awards. Image: Getty

Though the main event will be restricted to academics, there will be also be a public facing panel on Sunday, February 11. Following this there will be two days of in-depth presentations and conversations at the University of Melbourne, with the two keynote addresses will be filmed and shared online.

Brittany Spanos, a Rolling Stone writer who teaches a course on Taylor Swift at New York University, will give the Monday keynote address at the conference, while Dr Georgia Carroll – whose PhD research focused on the way Taylor Swift fans participate in commodified fandom spaces – will give the Tuesday address.

Researchers from around the world were asked to submit proposals for the Swiftposium, with 130 submissions from across 60 disciplines and 78 academic institutions worldwide accepted.

If you aren't able to attend the Swiftposium but want to know more, organisers have made sure to publish recommended reading for the event.

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When is the Swiftposium?

The academic Swiftposium will take place from Sunday, February 11 to Tuesday, February 13 – just ahead of the Australian leg of the Eras Tour kicking off at Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 16.

Why is it being held?

The Swiftposium is a collaboration between academics from six universities – the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Curtin University, Auckland University of Technology, Monash University, and University of Sydney – and it will explore Swift's "extraordinary influence".

Swift rose to fame as a teenager and in the years since has been at the centre of many cultural events and debates. Last year saw the star's fame reach new heights with her worldwide Eras Tour, the subsequent concert film and then being named Time’s Person of the Year for 2023.

She has also made history as the first person to win four album of the year awards at the Grammys, as well as breaking records with her tour which has been shown to have a significant economic impact on the cities it visits.

In addition, she has started conversations about everything from streaming royalties and album masters to feminism and misogyny.

Where is it taking place?

Swiftposium will take place at the University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.



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