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University of Texas begins Taylor Swift class this fall

The University of Texas introduced a new course on Taylor Swift for the fall 2022 semester. (Taylor Swift/Twitter)

Can't shake off the symbolism in Taylor Swift's latest short film? Those who know the country-turned-pop artist "All Too Well" can test their expertise in a Taylor Swift-centric class at the University of Texas.


The Songbook of Taylor Swift will be available as an English credit for undergraduates in the Liberal Arts Honors program for the fall semester, which begins Monday. The course will provide "an introduction to literary studies and research methods that uses the songwriting of (Swift) as the basis for teaching a wide range of skills," according to the UT English Department's Facebook post.

Those familiar with Swift's fan culture will know that "Swifties" go to great lengths to uncover Easter eggs throughout the singer-songwriter's decades-long discography. English professor Elizabeth Scala hopes to put that skillset to greater use.

“I want to take what Swift fans can already do at a sophisticated level, tease it out for them a bit with a different vocabulary, and then show them how, in fact, Swift draws on richer literary traditions in her songwriting, both topically but also formally in terms of how she uses references, metaphors, and clever manipulations of words,” Scala told KXAN.

Scala, who normally teaches medieval literature, will be scrapping her Chaucer for Swift lyrics in hopes of preparing students for "advanced work in the humanities." In the Facebook post, the department also said that the course could help first-year students apply to the school's English Honors Program.

Though this Swift course is the first of its kind, there won't be a "Blank Space" for other pop star's studies for long: neighboring school Texas State University is introducing a Harry Styles course beginning in spring 2023.

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With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again
Shutterstock

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide
Dwellsy

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.