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Mark Marino

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Aug 28, 15

"niversities offering ‘selfie courses’
Posted in International

Published on August 28, 2015 with No Comments
Do you think you have mastered the art of taking selfies? Universities in US have taken the art of clicking pictures to the next level by introducing courses on the latest social media fad."

Aug 19, 15

"The Scholarship in Selfies
By LAURA PAPPANOJULY 31, 2015
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Parmigianino's "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror"
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Consider Parmigianino’s “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” for what it is: a selfie. Painting a Renaissance masterpiece takes more skill than tapping a camera app, but in the emerging field of selfie studies, they can be part of the same conversation.

Selfies engage the tradition of journaling and self-portraiture (also consider Cindy Sherman), says Mark C. Marino. His “#SelfieClass” was a section of Writing 150 at the University of Southern California last spring, with three sections planned for fall. One assignment: Use selfies to examine the diversity (or lack of it) in your friend network on Facebook.

Applying an academic lens to selfies is not frivolous, says Miriam Posner, who teaches “Selfies, Snapchat and Cyberbullies” at the University of California, Los Angeles. Glib pop-culture critics may point to them as evidence of “vanity and exhibitionism,” but she sees something deeper. Selfies raise important questions about identity, culture and technology. Like: What do selfies say about what we choose to document, how we craft images for different groups (family on Facebook, friends on Instagram), or reveal or hide about our identity? Is Kim Kardashian making art? And what of the selfie stick? It’s worth a class discussion.

Deconstructionism

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Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, selfie models to the masses. Credit Photos from Instagram (3)
Poseurs

Selfies, snapped to be shared, are “performed,” in academic lingo. It is a star’s job to know how to pose. Now ordinary people are in the same business. Their models are “media driven,” notes Alice E. Marwick, a communications professor at Fordham University who researches the highly followed. Duck face — sucked-in cheeks to accentuate lips and bone structure — is both silly and postmodern. “You are being sexy and being ironic about being sexy,” she says.

Ms. Kardashian, the seminal pouter, told NPR in June she is now “too cool for duck face.” Variously touted as the new duck face: the sparrow (widened eyes and parted lips like a baby bird waiting to be fed) and the Miley Cyrus face. Men, on the other hand, draw from the pop-idol iconography of Elvis, the Beatles and the Bieb.

I’m Here!

The meme “Pics or it didn’t happen” is a call for documentation in a world of unverifiable claims. It’s also a political or social statement, a way to engage one’s social network in real time events, says Terri Senft, a New York University professor who heads the Selfie Researchers Network on Facebook, which has a group-sourced syllabus to use for teaching.

Filters

Manipulating an image — changing tone, contrast or light — shows off the taker’s personal, arty style. “N.F.,” for no filter, signals authenticity, as in “I’m on this unbelievable beach and I didn’t change the contrasts,” Dr. Senft says.

Cultural Artifact

“If somebody found your cellphone 500 years from now and from that had to tell the entire story of your generation, what story would they tell?” Dr. Senft asks. A tale of narcissism and party scenes and Solo red cups, sure. Yet to those who find all this a trivial topic of study, note that a cuneiform tablet in the British Museum is a list of workers’ beer rations in 3000 B.C.

The Very First Selfie

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Robert Cornelius
In 1839, a daguerreotype enthusiast in Philadelphia named Robert Cornelius set up his camera — a tin box and opera lens — removed the cap, ran into the frame and sat still for a minute, then covered the lens. In the collection of the Library of Congress, the image is considered the earliest extant photographic portrait in the United States."

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