Pop Quiz: Owl Eras

A Rice class for Taylor’s times

Taylor Swift - iHeartRadioCA

Winter 2024 | By Zeisha B. and Nithya Ramcharan

Hanszen junior Katherine Jeng teaches COLL 167: Miss Americana: The Evolution and Lyrics of Taylor Swift — which adds Rice to the list of institutions offering Taylor Swift-centered courses. The class focuses on the lyrical and musical evolution of Swift’s career and explores supplementary topics surrounding the singer, such as gender, social media, politics, nationalism and family. Jeng, who studies social policy in the School of Social Sciences, says her favorite part about teaching is the students. “I love the conversations and different perspectives they have.”

Rice’s “College Courses,” which are listed by the registrar with the subject code COLL, are mostly student-taught and offered for credit. They are designed for students who are knowledgeable about interdisciplinary matters to educate other students about nontraditional subjects. Students interested in teaching have to complete pedagogy training before launching their course.

To celebrate Rice’s first Taylor Swift course, we decided to test our fellow Swiftie Owls with a matching game. Can you guess the Taylor Swift albums that these seven Rice-focused album covers evoke? We’re leaving a “blank space” for the answers.

Album cover shows nondescript wooded area and some yellow flowers.

1. Harris Gully is a restored watershed on campus that reportedly attracts the most birds of any college campus in the U.S.  It’s a natural area that could inspire campuswide folktales.
Album: __________________________________

Album cover shows the DJ booth at KTRU.

2. KTRU — Rice’s very own student-run radio station at 96.1 FM, located in the Ley Student Center — is the perfect place to play your best music or share your voice, loud and proud!
Album: __________________________________

Album cover shows the the front pages of three issues of the Thresher.

3. Our 1916-founded student-run newspaper, the Thresher, fits the aesthetic of a certain comeback album.
Album: __________________________________

Album cover shows a paving stone etched with the year "1989."

4. The Berlin Wall, a piece of which is located in front of Baker Hall, came down the same year Taylor Swift was born.

Album: __________________________________

Album cover shows a pair of cowboy boots.

5. These swanky Rice cowboy boots, given as a high school graduation gift to Hanszen junior Isabella Bartos, evoke cowboys and career-launching country music.

Album: __________________________________

Album cover shows the ordering area and menu screen for the Hoot.

6. The Hoot, a student-run go-to for post-dinner food and snacks, is the perfect place to fuel those late-night ruminations.

Album: __________________________________

Album cover shows two people lying down together under a flowering tree.

7. These two Rice lovebirds were spotted under a blossoming tulip magnolia tree near Anderson Biological Lab and evoke love
ballads to love itself!
Album: _________________________________



Answers:  1. folklore,  2. Speak Now, 3. reputation, 4. 1989, 5. Taylor Swift, 6. Midnights, 7. Lover 


Taylor Swift photo by iHeartRadio CA