When will there be a thesis on “Tay Tay”? Artist adored by millions of fans, billionaire businesswoman : the societal, economic and cultural impact of the American pop star Taylor Swift is so enormous that the University of Melbourne, in Australia, dedicated a symposium to it on Monday with the participation of researchers from different disciplines.
The “Swiftposium” looked at the Taylor Swift phenomenon from all angles, sociological, commercial, cultural and even… medical, before the arrival in Melbourne on Friday of the singer’s world tour, “The Eras Tour”. “It’s really amazing how many different approaches you can use to analyze Taylor Alison Swift,” said Jennifer Beckett, senior lecturer in media and communications at the University of Melbourne.
“She has accumulated such power and influence, I think it is unprecedented in the (music) industry,” notes the academic. “We can learn a lot from her, but we also need to think critically.” Singer, actress, Taylor Swift, 34, is also a poet, feminist icon and skillful businesswoman.
Last year, a course at the University of Ghent (Belgium) examined the pop star’s texts, questioning “his literary genius”. Among the most unexpected elements of the Melbourne symposium, researchers demonstrated that the rhythms of his songs could help with cardiac resuscitation.
Queen of communication
The famous Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” was taught for years as the rhythm for CPR; but scholars have now identified Swift songs with the right number of beats per minute, which is more meaningful to younger generations, panelists noted.
The conference also looked at “Swiftonomics”, the economic impact of Taylor Swift’s tours on cities, urban planning, public transport, restaurants and hotels. She is able to boost the economy of a city only by including it on the program of her tours.
One of the speakers, sociologist Georgia Carroll, studied the very thoughtful way in which the singer encourages her fans to go on a spending spree to acquire her products. “It rewards fans who spend money by paying attention to them (…) It is very studied and controlled,” underlines the sociologist. Fans see her much more as the friend next door than as a superpowered billionaire. »
Brittany Spanos, another speaker, contributor to Rolling Stone magazine, estimates how Taylor Swift is “one of the smartest artists” when it comes to communicating with her fans, making them feel “connected” with her.