Madness and Defiance: A discussion about Taylor Swift's 2020 album Folklore

  • ZHANG, E. (Organiser)
  • Stefanie Sevcik (Organiser)

Activity: Conference/talk/lecture/symposium/speech/workshop, etcEvent organized by HKBU


In the 19th century, hysteria was understood as a mental illness that affected women, making them lose control of their emotion. In Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault argued that madness is a social construct. People that are considered “mad” are those who refuse to conform to social norms. Today, the word “mad” continues to be used to describe women who are defiant, who willfully challenge the patriarchal social order.
182 students from the U.S.A., Mexico, Peru, and the Philippines joined a thought-provoking discussion about women, madness, and defiance. We discussed Taylor Swift’s “Mad Woman” and “The Last Great American Dynasty” from her 2020 album Folklore and examined the connection between female “madness” and patriarchal dominance.

Participating universities:

Georgia College and State University, U.S. A.
Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, Mexico
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Peru
San Pedro College, the Philippines

Number of attendees (for events)

Period21 Oct 2022
Held atLanguage Centre
Degree of RecognitionInternational

User-Defined Keywords

  • Feminism
  • Resistance
  • Popular culture