Indiana University to host academic conference on Taylor Swift

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Taylor Swift performs onstage during the opening night of “The Eras Tour” in Glendale, Arizona. "Taylor Swift: The Conference Era" takes place in Bloomington Nov. 3 and 4 with adjacent events occurring Nov. 2 and 5. (Photo/Kevin Winter, Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

The popularity of Taylor Swift has been seen in stadiums and movie theaters across the globe, and now, it is moving into the world of academia.

Indiana University will play host next month to a conference—known as Taylor Swift: The Conference Era—which will explore the pop star’s cultural relevance and influence on a variety of topics.

The conference, which already has more than 1,000 attendees registered, is scheduled for Nov. 3-4 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater near the IU Bloomington campus, with adjacent events on campus Nov. 2 and 5.

The IU Arts & Humanities Council is responsible for the event, which will focus on Taylor Swift’s influence on pop culture, the economy, gender, fandom, politics, music theory, history and more.

The conference comes one year before Swift brings her immensely popular Eras Tour to Indianapolis for two performances at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The events at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater are free but require tickets to attend, with a limit of four tickets per person. The Saturday events are sold out, but IU says a limited quantity of tickets are available for Friday.

In May, the Arts & Humanities Council issued a call for papers, which garnered responses from around the world. A total of 30 speakers, including IU faculty members, graduate students and alumni, will present panels on topics such as “Taylor as an Anti-Hero,” “Tour Economy and Crowd Culture” and “Feminism and Capitalism.”

The conference will feature a keynote presentation from Brenda Weber, director of the College Arts and Humanities Institute IU, on gender in relation to the Taylor Swift documentary “Miss Americana.”

IU plans to kick off the conference with Taylor Swift-themed events at the university’s First Thursdays festival on Nov. 2 from 4-7 p.m. at the Arts Plaza on the Bloomington campus, which will be followed by a dance party at 9 p.m. at The Back Door nightclub.

A full schedule of events is expected to be released in late October. You can find more information on the conference by clicking here.

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