From “mine” to “ours”: Gendered hierarchies of authorship and the limits of taylor swift's paratextual feminism

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Abstract

This article analyzes paratextual strategies deployed by Taylor Swift in her transition from country to pop in the context of her articulation of her authorship as a female songwriter. This was a transition complicated by the gendered hierarchies of pop music, wherein male producers carry significant discursive weight. The article frames the “Voice Memos” included with her 2014 album 1989 as a form of paratextual feminism, reiterating the authenticity she developed as a country star and pushing back against claims her collaboration with male producers like Max Martin and Ryan Tedder threaten her autonomy as a female voice in the music industry. However, the article goes on to consider how these and other paratextual feminisms are inherently tied to neoliberal values of post-feminism, demonstrating that their potential as a gendered critique of the media industries is limited by the lack of actualization within Swift's broader star text and industry practice.

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McNutt, M. (2020). From “mine” to “ours”: Gendered hierarchies of authorship and the limits of taylor swift’s paratextual feminism. Communication, Culture and Critique, 13(1), 72–91. https://doi.org/10.1093/CCC/TCZ042

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