USC is ‘teaching’ a ‘selfie’ class

12 May

There’s a bird course if there ever was one… (Albeit with prog indoctrination, of course…)

In his #SelfieClass: Writing 150: Writing and Critical Reasoning: Identity and Diversity, Mark Marino is looking to engage his first-year writing students into thinking more intensely about themselves and the world around them.

“Selfies provide a fun and deceptively trivial opportunity to consider how we represent ourselves, how we are read, and how those images circulate to form online communities,” he said.

One of the students’ first writing assignments poses the question: How do your selfies produce or obscure a sense of your identity? He then asks the students to choose five selfies of themselves and examine race-ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexuality and gender.

“Go anywhere in LA, and you’ll see rows of people tilting their heads and smiling into their phones,” Marino said. “They are communicating with their friends.  But it’s not that simple.”

The selfie, he said, carries much more significance.

To Marino, selfie takers are “constructing an image of their identity — their gender, their ethnicity, their sexuality, their socioeconomic status.”

“Except that’s only half of the process because these photos then will be read, liked and favorited, and interpreted by others — based on their own expectations and experience,” he said.  “Here we have the co-creation of identity wrapped up in a discrete act of networked communication.”

His students must maintain selfie journals and write blog posts, among other assignments. The class also teamed up with Miriam Posner, who teaches “Selfies, Snapchat, and Cyberbullies” at UCLA.

Blah, blah, blah…


Post-Millennial girlie creates new identity for herself through a Twitter selfie, as the Princess of Auschwitz! 😉



19 responses to “USC is ‘teaching’ a ‘selfie’ class

  1. feeriker

    May 12, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    One of the students’ first writing assignments…

    Oh, good God. Can you imagine having so little respect for yourself and your sanity as to actually volunteer to read the incoherent scribblings of an entire classroom full of functionally illiterate millennials? Even somebody talentless enough to come up with the idea of a “Selfie” class ought to know better than that. I’d sooner volunteer to spend half a year cleaning up fresh dog shit with my bare hands.

    As for “Auschwitz Selfie Girl,” I’m now completely convinced that this constitutes enough evidence that it’s time to wipe out what little remains of civilization and start over from scratch. From where can we borrow a few thousand nukes to get started?

  2. Eric

    May 13, 2015 at 12:51 am

    American Academia has almost become a parody of itself.

  3. ray

    May 13, 2015 at 2:36 am

    /Cell blocks on the left and cell blocks on the right. It’s like the grow right outta Princess’ head!

    I can’t tell if she’s smiling, or grimacing, or what? Maybe she doesn’t know either.


  4. Sanne

    May 13, 2015 at 3:44 am

    People are actually paying to learn this stuff? As if modern students need any encouragement to think about self…

  5. Mark Citadel

    May 13, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Sanne makes a very valid point.

  6. feeriker

    May 13, 2015 at 11:29 am

    “People are actually paying to [insert pointless or stupid activity here]?”

    This could very well serve as the sociological epitaph of 21st Century America. To paraphrase the old folk maxim, a moron(ette) and his (her) money are easily and quickly separated.

  7. Will S.

    May 13, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    @ feeriker: Oh, don’t worry; surely he’s NOT marking their papers himself; that’s what grad student T.A.s are for! 😉

    And yes, I feel the same way; I wish there was a reset button…

    @ ray: With that manjaw, it’s kinda hard to tell. 😉

    @ Sanne, Mark: Exactly! Hear, hear!

    @ feeriker: Indeed.

  8. feeriker

    May 13, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    …that’s what grad student T.A.s are for! 😉

    Most of whom now have functional literacy levels equivalent to those of the undergrads they’re babysitting.

  9. Will S.

    May 14, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Alas, indeed…

  10. Will S.

    May 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    @ Eric: Uh, wow. (Somehow missed your comment the other day.) That’s crazy!


  11. Kevin

    May 16, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Clearly this young lady doesn’t have the emotional intelligence necessary to be left alone. I have been to Auschwitz 3 times to study the holocaust and genocide prevention. I took a number of pictures there as well. I didn’t take a “selfie” because that is one place where “me” kind of disappears as you consider all the lost souls and tremendous torture of so many. I don’t think this girl quite understands the gravity of the situation that occurred in that place.

  12. Will S.

    May 16, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    She also doesn’t understand ‘optics’, which is pretty surprising for a post-Millennial, raised on social media.

  13. infowarrior1

    July 9, 2015 at 7:24 am

  14. Will S.

    July 9, 2015 at 10:26 am


    May that be a lesson to all. 🙂

  15. Will S.

    January 12, 2021 at 2:07 am

    Chicks are still doing selfies at Auschwitz: