The Bristol student who wrote her dissertation about Taylor Swift

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By Holly Beaumont, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Evie Chiles, a third-year Sociology and Philosophy student at Bristol University has gone viral on Twitter for writing her dissertation about Taylor Swift.

Titled, ‘Look What You Made Her Do: Swift Negotiations with an Inherently Sexist Music Industry’, Evie told Epigram she had always planned to make Taylor Swift the focus of her final year dissertation.

‘I definitely always knew I wanted to write it about her. I'm kind of scared that I think that might be the reason I did sociology in the first place’, she said.

Tweeting about her dissertation Evie gained 92,000 likes and over 9000 retweets on her tweet.

With a focus on the unfair media coverage Taylor Swift has historically been subject to, Evie told Epigram ‘growing up, I’d always wondered why everyone hated her. And then as I grew older, and I learned about feminism, I realised it was because she was a woman.’

With several chapters, such as the cleverly titled, ‘No one likes a Mad Woman’ and ‘Swiftly Shifting the Power’, Evie’s dissertation focuses on sexism in the music industry.

Evie Chiles pictured with Taylor Swift | Epigram / Evie Chiles

‘The whole idea that every time someone said they didn't like her, it was because she was, “annoying”. I just felt like I had never really heard that word be described in male terms.

‘It became so clear that every problem she'd had was because she was a woman.’

When Evie proposed the idea to her personal tutor, she was met with support.

‘She said “go for it!” Although she did also say, “you have to make sure your position as a fan doesn’t get in the way of your critical analysis of her career”, Evie told Epigram.

‘But I said that I really wanted to explore sexism in the music industry and I wanted to use Taylor Swift as my case study, and she [said] “sounds good”.

We discussed how the process of writing a 10,000 word essay is typically stressful but that Evie’s subject matter made it more enjoyable than anything else.

‘It was stressful and there were times where I thought “Oh, my God, I'm writing my dissertation about Taylor Swift, this is ridiculous”, but then I kept gaining more direction. And it was just quite fun.’

‘I put it on there hoping it wouldn’t flop’ she laughed.

‘Dissertations on Twitter normally get 1000 likes but I did not expect this. I had a bit of a moment yesterday when it reached 50,000 likes and I just went pale’, she said.

"I have hundreds of messages from people asking to read it."

Since her viral tweet, Evie said her Twitter Dm’s have been flooded with messages.

‘The messages are ridiculous , I have hundreds of messages from people asking to read it. I sent a few people my bibliography because they were doing similar bits of research. I want people to read it, I am proud of it,’ she said.

Featured Image: Evie Chiles


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