English and World Languages is in Their “Fearless” and “Speak Now” Eras

Leading up to Taylor Swift’s release of her newest album The Tortured Poets Department, the department of English and World Languages is highlighting each of her albums in preparation for the event. This week, the department has entered its Fearless and Speak Now eras! The album Fearless was originally released in 2008, with her rerecording or “Taylor’s Version” rereleased in April of 2021. Fearless incorporates themes of romance, aspirations, fairytale elements, heartache, and resilience through its 26 song track list. Some key songs off of this album include “Love Story,” “White Horse,” “Fearless,” and “Forever and Always.” Her third studio album Speak Now was originally released in 2010, with Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) released in July of 2023. This album transitions from adolescence into adulthood by incorporating themes of coming into your own and gaining confidence through whimsical and theatrical elements. Some key songs off of this album include “Long Live,” “Enchanted,” “Dear John,” “Mine,” “Sparks Fly,” and “Better Than Revenge.”

You may be in your ENWL Fearless era too if you are:

  • Registered for the Spanish Literature in English (CRN 14628) for next fall
  • Write 8 pages for a 4 page paper
  • Romanticize the little things
  • Love a late night study session with friends
  • Daydream about a bright future
  • A member of Spanish club

You may be in your ENWL Speak Now era too if you are:

  • Someone who takes creative risks
  • Grew up reading fairytales
  • Is a multifaceted and multimodal writer
  • Defies stereotypes
  • Is a member of the Creative Writers Guild
  • Have a Goodreads account
  • Secretly loves rock music

Dr. Jakubiak is in her Fearless era, as she travels across the world to showcase not only her writing and poetry talents, but also brings back this international knowledge to her courses and students. The song “Fearless” has the lyrics “and I don’t know how it gets better than this, you take my hand and drag me headfirst, fearless.” These lyrics showcase her bravery in going to different places and events to show her work and highlights how putting yourself out there “fearlessly” can lead to a successful outcome. Dr. Jakubiak’s adventure with the English languages started with translating lyrics of Pop and Rock songs by artists like George Michael, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Cyndi Lauper!

Dr. Pfannenstiel is in her Speak Now era, as although she may appear to be soft like the album cover, she creates a blend of deep knowledge and student centered teaching that evokes the same spirit as Speak Now. She includes elements of lighthearted joy alongside rock and roll that encapsulate the theme of being honest to oneself, as heard on the album. Dr. P connects to the song “Enchanted,” as she is always so kind, helpful, and thoughtful to be both her undergrad and gradate students. It is always enchanting to get to grow with her as a learner!

Both Fearless and Speak Now have unexpected literature connections. Swift draws inspiration from William Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet for her hit song “Love Story,” narrating a modern and happier retelling of the classic fated lovers on her Fearless album. The song “Speak Now” has a connection to the 1967 film The Graduate, as the song features the lyrics “don’t say yes, run away now, I’ll meet you when you’re out of the church at the back door.” These lyrics recall an experience of crashing a wedding and running away with one member of the couple, which was mist famously done in the move, as Benjamin crashes the wedding of his lover Elaine and whisks her away onto a bus.

Stay tuned for next week’s post on our Instagram @ville.englishworldlanguage to see why the humanities will “never go out of style.”

Research Corner: Faces take us places

This week, through our data tracking, it was evident that we received a boost in engagement with posts that included faces of our faculty rather than those without. For example, on our ENWL trope posts, we had a total of 20 likes over 48 hours with zero saves, zero shares, and zero comments. However, on the Faculty Feature post, we had a total of 35 likes over 48 hours, with 4 saves and eight shares. It is interesting to see this boost because of this one change, and makes us wonder if this is because the posts with faces fit the expectations set for social media rather than those with just text or images.