Rosebery Lecture - Taylor's Version  | Epsom College
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Rosebery Lecture – Taylor’s Version 

This term’s Rosebery Lecture was a treat for Swifties young and old. Dr Elly McCausland, Professor of English at Ghent University, entertained a rapt audience with her talk on the literary references and influences found within Taylor Swift’s oeuvre. McCausland’s lecture, ‘Have they come to take me away?’ Midnights, Madness, and the Feminist Antiheroism of Taylor Swift, was delivered with all the passion one would expect from an eminent professor and lifelong fan of Taylor Swift.

Here, Sixth Form student Ella Stephens reviews the lecture:

“Dr McCausland’s lecture on Taylor Swift’s literary references in her lyrics provided a fascinating exploration of the depth and mature meaning of her songs. Swift’s ability to draw inspiration from classic literature, particularly powerful feminist figures, showcased a profound connection between her music and literary works which makes her music so unique.

McCausland’s analysis also touched upon the emotional resonance created by Swift’s lyricism, underscoring how her literary influences contribute to the timeless relatability of her songs.

She also discussed the immense criticism that Swift faces and how closely this is tied to societal misogyny – it was fascinating to hear her disprove so many stereotypes in such a sophisticated and admirable fashion.

Overall, the lecture celebrated Taylor Swift’s skilful integration of literary elements into her lyrics, elevating her songwriting to a level that transcends most popular music, establishing her as a modern-day literary figure, truly deserving of huge success, and the adoration of her Swifties.”