COMM 1915: Selfies: Media and the Culture of Me

3 CreditsFreshman Seminar

In 2013, Oxford Dictionaries announced \"selfie\" as their word of the year, explaining that usage had increased 17,000 percent in the English language in just twelve months. Defined as \"a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website,\" the selfie is now a staple of social media platforms from Facebook to Instagram, and taking and posting selfies has become a regular social practice, particularly for young people. How did this happen? This seminar examines the emerging media \"culture of me\" from a range of critical perspectives. Tracing the cultural history of the selfie from earlier forms of self-portraiture and first-person media to the rise of social media, we will examine the selfie phenomenon within broader cultural trends, from the explosion of ordinary people in the media to developments in interactive media technologies, micro celebrity, integrated marketing, and self-branding.

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