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An artistic depiction of the upcoming Taylor Swift: Honors Version course that is being offered at UNM Honors College. 

UNM Honors College enters its Swiftie era

The University of New Mexico is entering its Taylor Swift era as the Honors College introduces a new class in the fall, “Taylor Swift: Honors Version.”

Under the guidance of lecturer Maria Szasz, a self-proclaimed "Swiftie" and seasoned educator, the full semester course will explore various jukebox musicals and Swift songs. It will culminate in the class creation of a jukebox musical featuring Swift's songs.

“The goal of the class is to study Taylor Swift's music, lyrics, philanthropy, economic impact and everything she's doing for women and artists,” Szasz said. “And the class will then create their own jukebox musical based on the life, song lyrics (and) eras of Taylor Swift.”

Jaiden Maestas, a junior at UNM, plans to take the course. Classes such as this one offer opportunities for students and professors to bring forth their own ideas, Maestas said.

“I know that the Honors College, and especially Szasz, do really good at selecting these unique interests that they personally are into ... Maria Szasz, especially, is very good at having her students bring their own positionality for the discourse,” Maestas said.

Szasz is looking forward to seeing how Swift has impacted younger people and the connection with and influence she has had on society, she said.

“In a lot of ways, it's a bird's-eye view of young people and how she's able to speak to young people … she's really able to connect with an enormous amount of people, and her culture influences (and) her economic influence,” Szasz said.

Alongside looking at Swift's positive impact “everything's on the table in terms of criticism” Szasz said when examining Swift’s environmental impact and more.

Maestas looks forward to examining the musicals and Swift on a deeper level to see what everyone brings to the table when discussing the topics, he said.

“It's going really in-depth on something that seemingly shouldn't be that deep, and people don't typically think deep about … With Taylor Swift, you can go really deep with that and then use your own critical reflexivity to bring about your own ideas, topics and things,” Maestas said.

Elizabeth Secor is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @esecor2003 

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Elizabeth Secor

Elizabeth Secor is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted on Twitter @esecor2003 

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