News & Politics

Taylor Swift Class Will Be Offered at American University

"Swiftonomics" course will explore the economic impact of the star's Era's Tour.

Photograph by Ronald Woan/Flickr.

Taylor Swift’s 2023 Era’s Tour generated a lot of cash for the star and the host cities—nearly $5 billion for local economies, according to Fortune. It was also the highest-grossing tour in music history and the first to reach over a billion dollars. Now, Swifties at American University in DC will have the chance to study the record-breaking tour in a new “Swiftonomics” course.

The course is a product of the university’s student-designed course competition. The two students who won, Megan Wysocki and Mackenzie Shultz, will see their vision brought to the classroom this fall. The course will analyze the economic impact of Swift’s Eras Tour, including job creation, tourism, consumer markets, and more. It will also explore how Taylor Swift is viewed from pop culture and business perspectives.

American University becomes one of nearly a dozen universities across the country to teach a Swift-related course this year. Other universities include Harvard, University of Florida, UC Berkeley, and, most recently, the University of Tennessee, which will introduce a class on the star’s career strategies and celebrity culture. 

American University professor and Economics Department Chair Kara Reynolds will teach Swiftonomics. A self-described “Swiftie,” Reynolds sponsored the students’ original proposal and will be responsible for bringing the concept to life. She says that the course is part of a larger effort to engage students in economics, particularly women, who are underrepresented in the field.

“I think the faculty get very tied up in what their interests are, and it is not necessarily the same interests as their students,” Reynolds says. “When you look at it from the issues that [students] are excited about, they see the connection between what can be ‘dry-economic theory’ to their own, real experiences.”

Reynolds says the class has already filled up, with 50 students registered and even more on a wait list.  This is the first economics course at AU to be centered around a celebrity.

“It is really unique that you would get so much industry built up around a single artist and how much impact she’s having on different markets like hotels, restaurants, costumes,” Reynolds says. “So, she is unique in the sense of how much excitement and economics are following this tour.”

Egan Ward
Editorial Fellow