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Taylor Swift’s Accent Shifts Hit Headlines

University of Chester English Language lecturer DR HELEN WEST explains how a joint presentation with graduate ESTHER HUMPHRIES on the singer’s accent shift at the recent Melbourne ‘Swiftposium’ gained international publicity

Since our presentation on Swift’s accent shifts between her country and pop-style music, Esther Humphries (a recent graduate of English Language here at Chester, whose fantastic dissertation started what was to follow) and I (very proud supervisor of said dissertation and now project collaborator) have been super excited to find snippets of our story splashed around various news sources (BBC, ITV, Cheshire Live,,, (Singapore), Chester Standard, BNN, Indy100), social media (#EngLangBlog, X@ImmanuelleLhoni), and we have just spoken to Agencia EFE.


Are we surprised? Well, yes, a little bit… We knew that there may be some attention to our work after Swiftposium 2024 due to the magnitude of Swift’s popularity, but we did not expect this amount of buzz! It’s great! Many thanks, of course, to the EN5315 Language Identity and Popular Culture students, who gave invaluable feedback on our talk prior to conference, and to Dr Jo Close who told us about the Swiftposium in the first place (how did she know it was coming? I think she might be a fan…).

 But it doesn’t end there! Hopefully we’ll see you at the Chester Festival of Ideas where we’ll be listening to Taylor’s music together and asking your thoughts on the artist’s accent as part of an exciting interactive display! More details on this to follow so keep your eyes peeled - we’d love to see you there whether you’re a Swiftie or not!

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