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Taylor Swift to spark Liverpool academic debates

Taylor Swift to spark Liverpool academic debates

Academics in Liverpool are preparing for the arrival of Taylor Swift in the city with a conference to “debate and deconstruct” the star’s work.

The Shake It Off singer will bring her Eras tour to Merseyside for a three-day run of sold-out shows at Anfield Stadium from June 13.

In anticipation of her appearances, the University of Liverpool will host Tay Day, which it describes as a “symposium for fans, students and academics to engage with the cultural phenomenon that is Taylor Swift”.

The conference is part of a number of Swift-related events being held in Liverpool in the hope of maximising the singer’s boost to the city economy.

Organised by the university’s Institute of Popular Music, Tay Day will take place on June 12 and see academics from across Europe speaking on topics such as Swift’s place in feminism.

The day will culminate in a session of “Critical Karaoke” – where researchers will perform one-song essays to their chosen Swift track.

Dr Sam Murray and Dr Amy Skjerseth, from the Institute of Popular Music, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting an event to bring together academics, students and fans to debate and deconstruct the work of one of the world’s biggest musical sensations on the eve of her performances in Liverpool.

“The musical, social and economic impact of Taylor Swift is undeniable and that’s why we’re really looking forward to starting a conversation about how Taylor is both Miss Americana and an anti-hero, to understand her style and her wildest dreams and to discuss her reputation.”

Elsewhere in the city in the run-up to the concerts, fans will be able to follow the Taylor Town Trail – made up of 11 art installations, all inspired by a different Era.

The artworks, curated by the city council’s Culture Liverpool team in partnership with social enterprise Make CIC, will include a moss-covered, grand piano to represent the evermore era and giant hearts to depict the Lover era.

Swift-themed craft workshops are also due to be held.

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture, Councillor Harry Doyle, said: “For more than a year we’ve been watching the impact Taylor has had at every location on her tour date – wherever she goes, an entourage of adoring fans follow, and latest figures show they are traveling from across the globe to enjoy the European leg of the tour.

“We’re a city well-versed in welcoming visitors from across the globe – Eurovision being a prime example – and we wanted to use the unrivalled creative talent in this city to develop a unique trail which will attract people to the city centre, give them an experience they won’t get in any other location and, as a result, encourage them to spend time making the most of our hospitality and leisure offer.

“This is all about using that Team Liverpool approach which works so well and has a tangible impact when it comes to boosting the local economy and supporting local businesses – and even though Taylor may only be in town for a matter of days, we hope the sector feels the impact for months to come.”

The Eras tour, which kicks off its UK leg in Edinburgh on June 7 before going to Liverpool, Cardiff and London, is expected to provide a £997 million boost to the UK economy, according to the Barclays Swiftonomics report published last week.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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