USD creates law course about Taylor Swift
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Starting this spring, students at the University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law will know All Too Well how much of an impact Taylor Swift has had on the legal environment.
A new course will be offered by Professor Sean Kammer, J.D., Ph.D., where students will learn how the pop icon’s Mastermind and Reputation are intertwined in the law.
“The basic idea is to use a topic about which students are already quite passionate about to help them interrogate the law in ways they probably wouldn’t otherwise do in law school,” said Kammer. “The course will also help them understand that their experiences and passions not typically associated with the law can, and do, inform the way they approach the law. Who they are matters, essentially.”
Kammer was The Lucky One that got to attend The Eras Tour in Minneapolis in June, which inspired him to create the course.
“The vibes are just so positive, and they got me to thinking whether there were lessons for law as it comes to the fostering of a healthy, vibrant and supportive community,” he said.
The course will be offered next spring for second and third-year law students. It will use Swift’s lyrics, Style, persona, massive following of ‘Swifties’ and Delicate interactions with the legal system to give students insight into philosophy, legal culture and legal rhetoric.
In the course, students will Speak Now and debate over music interpretation as an analogy for the competing theories of legal interpretation, which will encourage them to Question...? why they gravitate to a particular theory while also filling in the Blank Space on other theory’s strengths and limitations. Students will also Jump Then Fall into the influence of music and pop culture on the law.
In addition to learning legal and social theory and developing their skills as writers, Kammer hopes students walk away from his class knowing that “who they are as individuals matters.”
“It matters not only in terms of which arguments they choose to make or whose interests they seek to represent, but in how they treat fellow members of their communities,” Kammer said. “I want them to learn that the practice of law is not something they should sequester from the rest of their lives. It is something that should be embedded within a full life, and it should be pursued in a way that is consistent with one’s values and identity.”
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