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Rensselaer Arts Lecturer Co-Hosts Premier Taylor Swift Virtual Academic Conference

Rensselaer Arts Lecturer Co-Hosts Premier Taylor Swift Virtual Academic Conference

By Jeanne Hedden Gallagher

July 14, 2021

Kate Galloway, a lecturer in the Department of Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has organized the first academic conference to study society through the prism of American pop and country star Taylor Swift and her lyrics.

Taylor Swift Study Day: Eras, Narrative, Digital Music, and Media will be held virtually beginning at 9 a.m. on July 17. An international panel of researchers and experts will offer presentations on topics ranging from digital fandom and collaboration to genre negotiation, identity, and the business of music stardom.

“Taylor Swift is a powerful icon who has endured, survived, and thrived, which makes her a dynamic lens through which we can study a wide range of themes in music, fandom, new media and digital culture, and civilization in general,” Galloway said.

The conference is free to attend but registration is required. A full schedule for this two-day event is available on the conference website and via Twitter @SwiftCon2021.

Galloway, an ethnomusicologist whose research focuses on music and digital media, will moderate the conference with her co-host, Christa Anne Bentley of Oklahoma City University. The third co-host, scholar Paula Harper of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will present.


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Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,600 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.