WRITING 200 - Writing with Digital and Social Media
Section: 002 Writing the Selfie
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Sweetland Center for Writing (WRITING)
Department: LSA Sweetland Writing Center
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected three times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Internet websites like Selfiecity, Selfieresearches, and 365 Feminist Selfie mostly focus on how an audience receives and “reads” the selfie. In this respect, they rightly treat the selfie as a cultural and aesthetic phenomenon. However, since taking a selfie is an almost instantaneous act, we often overlook the fact that even such an instantaneous activity requires a certain degree of brainstorming, composing, and revising—even if these stages might happen at a subconscious level.

In Writing the Selfie we focus on the selfie as an utterance that participates in rhetorical discourse, and thus we attempt to apply classical rhetorical categories to a visual text. Composition is inherent in any communication act, no matter how quick and automatic that act is; in this course, we view the selfie as a multimodal platform contributing to the rhetorical ends of composition.

This course will introduce students to elements of classical rhetoric and recent literature on the selfie phenomenon, and we will bring the two together, using the one to understand the other. We will try to answer this specific question: what do we want to communicate when we take a selfie? The course explores new practices in multimodal writing, with a special attention to the many social situations of web 2.0. Students do not need any specific technical expertise to take this course (although, knowing how to use a smart phone does help).

Course Requirements:

Active participation; group presentations; several multimodal assignments leading to a "selfie project" composed of 4 selfies and about 1000 words.

Intended Audience:

Students interested in multimodal composition, digital studies, and traditional rhetoric.

Class Format:


WRITING 200 - Writing with Digital and Social Media
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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