Category Archives: Taylor Swift

ENWL in our Midnights Era

Taylor’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department, has officially dropped and we are in our Midnights era because we stayed up till midnight to get our first listen.

In Midnights (2022) Taylor returns to her pop roots featuring upbeat songs with sharp, honest lyrics. You and your friends can party all night long with the top songs from this album including “Bejeweled,” “Lavender Haze,” and “Karma.” This album captures sleepless nights and the wish to just have some fun.

You may be in your Midnights ENWL era to if you:

  • Are a bit of an insomniac
  • Are a dedicated journal-keeper who loves keeping track of the little things
  • Gets tested but always bounces back
  • Will “go to sleep” but posts on socials until 2 AM
  • Are a member of Her Campus
  • Are looking forward to taking ENGL 221 – Intro to Linguistics next semester


Faculty and staff in their Midnights era:

Graduate Assistant Becca Betty is in their Midnights era because they “laid the groundwork and then just like clockwork” all the amazing ENWL events came to be! Becca is a “mastermind” at organizing at creating events and content for all to enjoy, and we celebrate them for all of their hard work.

Dr. Kim McCollum-Clark is in her Midnights era because you best believe she is still “bejeweled!” Her knowledge in various fields and disciplines shines through all of her work, making the department “shimmer” with various potential pathways for ENWL majors.

ENWL Connections in Midnights

One of the biggest connections Taylor makes is to Jane Eyre in her song “Dear Reader.” Jane Eyre is a novel by English author and poet Charlotte Brontë. It is a work of fiction that follows the childhood and early adulthood of the namesake of the novel, Jane Eyre.

The full line in the novel that Taylor references is “Dear reader, I married him.” This sentence breaks the fourth wall and directly addresses the audience, drawing them into the protagonist’s decision to marry the man at the center of Jane’s whirlwind romance. Swift’s use of the phrase has a similar effect as she encourages her audience to be cautious in risk-taking but to take a chance anyways at one point saying, “Dear reader// When you aim at the devil make sure you don’t miss.”

Thank you for joining us on our Taylor Swift journey—we will have one more week of bonus content because we can’t resist talking about the new album:)

Research Corner: Time Invested vs Goal Payoff

One of the important aspects to consider when setting up a research project is finding the delicate balance of time invested versus goal payoff. Setting achievable goals for content creation that will have the best expected payoffs, whether it’s a certain level of interaction on a post or connecting students with valuable information, can be difficult. One way to mitigate these challenges is to have a discussion at the outset of the project to be reasonable about what your team can achieve and what will meet the needs of your intended audience to the best of your ability. It is also helpful to have a voice of reason who will help reign in wild ideas that may not have the payoff the project needs (Dr. Pfannenstiel is very good at this:) ). Finally, acknowledging that your project will need to be adaptable to meet the unexpected needs that come up in either the logistics of carrying out a project or the ever-shifting goals of your target audience is key to success.

ENWL is in their Folklore and Evermore Eras

With only a week left until the release of The Tortured Poets Department, the department of English and World Languages has transitioned into its Folklore and Evermore eras.

Folklore (2020) is a drastic shift from its predecessor Lover, as the album (which was written, produced, and released during the Covid-19 pandemic) uses a folk-pop sound to create an escape from reality and into a world in woods. Folklore follows the love triangle between Betty, August, and James, and takes listeners through a journey of shared memories, myths, and personal legends. Other themes off this album include empathy, nostalgia, and romanticism. Some key songs from this record include “Cardigan,” “Exile,” “Mirrorball,” and “August.”

Evermore (2020) follows in its sister album’s footsteps by transcending users to another reality, one that is both warm with memories and cold from current reflections of them. Themes from this album include forbidden love, romantic neglect, forgiveness, marriage, and infidelity. Notable songs from this album include “Willow,” “Champagne Problems,” “Tolerate It,” and “Ivy.”

You may be in your Folklore era too if you:

  • Love the dark academia aesthetic
  • Are learning how to manage burnout
  • Every other post on your Instagram is a tree
  • Are a major multi-tasker
  • Turn darkness from the past into soft sunshine
  • Are a member of George Street Press

You may be in your Evermore era too if you:

  • Are a yearly Ren-Faire attendee that loves to bring a character to life
  • Shoulder a lot of responsibilities but are finding ways to make your magic grow
  • Building your new normal, learning what you can do to recognize and accommodate your needs as a member of ADAPT
  • Cunning eye for detail and a love for nature

Dr. Baldys is in her Folklore era because this album is one of Taylor’s most lyrically detailed with many connections to Dr. Baldys’ area of study: Victorian Literature!

Dr. Farkas is in her Folklore era because even though she can’t teach you to read minds, she can definitely help you turn your writing around!

Dr. Mondello is in her Evermore era because she incorporates themes of the supernatural, whimsical, and magical within her each of her literature courses. Since Dr. Mondello started during Covid, we have seen how much she has grown into her position, just as Taylor did as an artist during this album, and she comes back as a stronger professor each semester!

Dr. Mando is in his Evermore era because he recognizes the connections between nature and literature, as seen in songs like “Ivy” and “No Body, No Crime” on the album.

There are many literature connections off of Folklore and Evermore, but a few highlights include:


“Cardigan” and Peter Pan

“Mirrorball” and “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath

“Invisible String” and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and Jane Eyre

“Mad Woman” and Wide Sargasso

“The Lakes” and The Laker Poets and the Romantic Era


“Tolerate It” and Rebecca

“Happiness” and The Great Gatsby

“Ivy” and Jane Eyre

“Evermore” and Emily Dickinson’s poem “One Sister Have I in the House”

ENWL Reputation and Lover Eras

The department of English and World Languages has shifted from into its Reputation and Lover eras in continuation with the countdown to Taylor Swift’s newest album The Tortured Poets Department.

Reputation (2017) is Swift’s first album with an edgy and rock and roll sound that sends off the message of confidence within herself that is powerful enough to gain revenge against her enemies. Other themes off of this album include identity, transformation, growth, resilience, and commentary on media criticism. Some key songs from Reputation include “Look What You Made Me Do,” “Getaway Car,” “Delicate,” and “Don’t Blame Me.”

Lover (2019) takes on a completely opposite tone, as it pulls from her personal life by focusing on romantic, long-term love, as well as facing adult issues such as change and loneliness. The album is a bubble gum pop collection of experiences that make listeners reflect on life as a whole, as it tells us that our past does not define our future. Key songs from this album include “Lover,” “Cruel Summer,” “The Man,” “The Archer,” and “False God.”

You may be in your Reputation era too if you:

  • Are Not afraid to take a risk
  • Love making multimodal media projects
  • Have an unbroken streak on Wordle
  • Know the power of peer-review
  • Always grabs the latest issue of The Snapper

You may be in your Lover era too if you:

  • Speaks your ideas into existence
  • Like to reenact scenes in Shakespeare class
  • Are a hopeless romantic (but expects a little tragedy)
  • Practice self love
  • Are a member of GSA

Faculty and Staff in their Reputation and 1989 Eras:

Dr. Craven is in her Reputation era because she loves to challenge students to make bold decisions – so that no matter what her students do they’ll be “ready for it.”

GA Heather is in her Lover era because she has loved every moment being a GA for the ENWL department! Working with Dr. P and Becca everyday has been a “golden” and sparkling experience.

Reputation is filled with unexpected literary connections. Some included are:

  • The song “Delicate” can be connected to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel This Side of Paradise with the quote of “we’re all delicate here, you know.”
  • So It Goes” connects to Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter House Five, as the phrase is used 106 times in the novel, as it is associated with death and mortality
  • Fan favorite “Getaway Car” references Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities with the first line of “it was the best of times the worst of crimes.”

Although not a direct connection, fans have associated the song “I Think He Knows” to Anne and Gilbert’s relationship from the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, which has been adapted into a tv series on Netflix. 

ENWL RED and 1989 Era

The Department of ENWL is continuing our Taylor Swift era this week with Taylor’s fourth album RED and fifth album 1989.

RED (2012; Taylor’s Version 2021) leans into an aesthetic that has become known as “sad girl Autumn,” evoking tumultuous reckonings with breaking up, growing up, and moving on. Top tracks from RED include “I Knew You Were Trouble When You Walked In,” “22,” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Some of these more vibrant tracks tend to outshine some of the gentler tracks that reveal the hidden artistry of Taylor’s lyricism, including the track “All Too Well,” that draws heavy influence from Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

1989 (2014; Taylor’s Version 2021) on the other hand is a beachy album crafted for late summer listening featuring vibes that are equal part wistfully nostalgic and longingly dreamy. Top tracks from 1989 include “Blank Space,” “Bad Blood,” and “Wildest Dreams” from the Deluxe version which went viral on TikTok in 2021.

You may be in your RED era too if you:

  • Are always ready to analyze
  • Enjoy movies that re longer than 2 hours
  • Favorite movie is one most people have never heard of
  • Are a member of Film Club
  • Constantly change your Letterboxd top four favorites

You may be in your 1989 era too if you:

  • Are always on the go
  • Take crazy detailed notes
  • Stay out too late
  • Love to be transported by what you read
  • Are a member of Ville AAUW

Faculty In Their RED and 1989 Eras

Dr. Antolin is in his RED era because of his extensive work with the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who Taylor draws great inspiration from for this album. Taylor’s songs “Red” and “All Too Well” reflect his influence particularly from the poem “Tonight I Can Write (The Saddest Lines).” You can read a translation of the poem here.

Fun fact: Dr. Antolin is also a musician! He plays the classical guitar.

Dr. Corkery is in his 1989 era because of the unexpected connection between hip-hop and Taylor Swift on 1989. Artist Kendrick Lamar is featured on the song “Bad Blood,” and in Dr. Corkery’s literature and hip-hop course, students are able to learn more about the history of rap music and why it is an important part of our culture.

Both RED and 1989 have some unexpected ENWL connections. Red features Taylor’s first mini-film for the song “All Too Well” following the tale of jilted lovers. The fall aesthetics and whirlwind affair has a similar vibe to the classic romcom When Harry Met Sally. At one point, Harry even wears a red scarf – maybe he also stole it from an ex;) On 1989, Taylor features references to Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland within her song “Wonderland.” Some lyrics that pay direct homage include “fell down a rabbit hole” and “with a Cheshire Cat smile.” She also references the classic 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter in her song “New Romantics” with the lyric “we show off, our different scarlet letters, trust me mine is better.”

You don’t have to wait to see us in your “Wildest Dreams,” follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with all our Taylor Swift content:)

Research Corner (Taylor’s Version): Revisiting and Reflecting on Content

While Taylor’s reason for rerecording her albums is to reclaim ownership and divest from her previous record label, her actions speak to a powerful practice in ENWL research and content strategies. Revisiting and reflecting on content is a valuable skill that both reiterates and transforms knowledge. For Taylor, not only do her “Versions” allow her to rectify possession of her voice and content, but they allow her to build on her past creations and even add tracks from her vault. In our research, each week we have new data and content to generate, but taking a moment to revisit our existing content reminds us to share important updates and events to our story. Creating intentional spaces for reflection also gives us the chance to celebrate accomplishments and recognize our growing community. With this in mind, we can fashion achievable goals –including our goal of growing our follower account on Instagram to 200 by the end of the semester (we are currently at 179). While this metric is not a be all end all evaluation of engagement, in our ongoing efforts to understand how the current digital landscape can create opportunities for connection, follower counts represent an aggregate web of accounts we’ve reached  and curious individuals who want to interact with us. We hope that increasing our followers will help us share our information and ENWL values with a wider audience, allowing for the formation of meaningful connection.

ENWL Debut Era

We’re kicking off our Taylor Swift Era by highlighting ENWL connections to her first album! Taylor’s first album shares her name but has become known to Swifties as simply Debut. Released in 2006, this album is heavily connected to Taylor’s roots in the country music genre with her top hit from the album named after Country singer/songwriter Tim McGraw. The aesthetics from the album capture light-hearted simplicity featuring butterflies, flowers, and her acoustic guitar in shades of baby blue.

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

  • In ENGL 110 – English Composition
  • Always over prepared
  • Just starting off in your writing journey
  • Will skip a class to go home early for break
  • Makes at least 3 drafts before submitting a paper
  • Will most likely visit the Writing Center
  • A member of the English Club

Dr. Rea is also in his Debut era because this is his first year as a professor at Millersville. “The Outside,” one of the tracks from this album, starts with the lyrics “I didn’t know what I would find” and we hope that Dr. Rea has found lots of great things in our department! This song also features a connection to Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” with the lyrics “I tried to take the road less traveled by” echoing Frost’s famous lines. Click on this link to read “The Road Not Taken” or check out another poem by Frost that shares Debut’s aesthetic: “Blue-Butterfly Day.”

Have you noticed any other unexpected connections to this album? Comment below to let us in on what you catch! Also, stay up to date with all our Taylor Swift content on Instagram and Facebook where we’ll see you next week with more “enchanting” fun;)


Research Corner – Data Logging

Week one logistics of our social media research project involved setting up data tracking log sheets and guidelines for collection. To set up our log sheet (see image below) we had to answer two primary questions a) what data is available and b) when should we collect data to make sure we are capturing meaningful information (without overloading our team with work). For our first week, we’ve settled into collecting information that is publicly available through each platform’s built in data analytic software. For data we expect to have slower growth (follower/subscriber/event attendance counts) we’ve decided to collect weekly numbers and for data we expect to change more rapidly (likes/shares/comments) we’ve decided to collect numbers at 24-hrs, 48-hrs, and at 1 week intervals until the conclusion of the study (with a total of 6-weeks for each data point). We hope that this range of data will be able to be used to determine if there is a significant impact (represented by an increase in these various metrics) from using Taylor Swift influenced content. We’ve separated our sheet into 6 sections (one for each week) with additional tabs for method notes and screenshots with sections on each tab for user added notes to document who is posting what when.

ENWL Enters Our Taylor Swift Era

With the announcement of Taylor Swift’s upcoming album titled The Tortured Poets Department, the English and World Languages Department is kicking off Taylor Swift themed events and fun leading up to a listening party on April 19th when the album drops. On this blog and social media, we will be moving through Taylor’s discography chronologically posting about unexpected connections Taylor Swift’s music has with English and World Languages (ENWL) by highlighting media, critical theories, research methods, and faculty interests tied into themes and literary connections in Taylor Swift’s lyrics and eras for each album.

This content strategy will also function as a 6-week study to measure student engagement metrics utilizing celebrity impact to generate interest in all things ENWL. Using Taylor Swift as inspiration will draw on an existing fandom to build a discourse community and provide a large base of material to fuel content. Not only will this allow us to potentially promote ENWL topics to a larger audience, but we will also be demonstrating our research techniques for this project by sharing our process on this blog including our world building strategies and research methods to show why and how ENWL research works.

The purpose of this study is two-fold: first it will establish a quantifiable content strategy to model systems of social media usage to determine the usefulness of social media to academic departments, and second it will provide additional means for students to connect with peers, professors, and ENWL media to establish community while also modeling ENWL research methods and methodologies for students to engage with. For this project, we will collect data that measures specific metrics of engagement on social media (likes, shares, comments, follower number) as well as in-person events (sign-in sheets). We will be sharing our process, documentation, and insights to show you in real time what ENWL research can do!

Join us for the next six weeks here, on Instagram (@ville.englishworldlanguage), and on Facebook (Millersville University, Department of English) as we present Swiftie connections to our discipline and envision new ways for our students to connect with each other and ENWL materials. The Department of ENWL is officially in our Taylor Swift era:)