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    The 'selfie' as a site of critical study, looking at selfies as cultural objects and how researchers understand the selfie as a space for/act of communication.

    This paper explores the idea of the 'selfie' as a popular cultural phenomena, as a digital process and as a space for communication and cultural expression. Through this paper you will learn to think critically about selfies as a discourse, as a cultural practice, as techno-socially enabled and as a rich space for communication and critique. You will also take many selfies!

    About this paper

    Paper title Studying Selfies: Celebrity, Surveillance and Cyberspace
    Subject Media, Film and Communication
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    18 points
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    May not be credited together with MFCO242 passed in 2017 or 2018.
    Department of Media, Film and Communication
    Tel 03 479 3724
    Teaching staff
    Dr Owain Gwynne
    Paper Structure
    1. Identity, interpellation and critiques of selfie culture
    2. Branding and celebrity
    3. Dataveillance, biometrics and facial recognition
    4. Sexuality, dating and gender
    5. Subalterns, criminals and others
    6. Space, place and 'appropriateness'


    • Image Production Tasks (shortened self-reflection blogs) x 4 - 20%
    • Critical essay - 40%
    • Presentation/Diary - 40%
    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is taught remotely.

    The on-campus occurrence of this paper is delivered in Dunedin.

    No textbook, but there will be set course materials.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Information literacy, Research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    At the completion of this paper students will:
    • Be able to both communicate and critique popular self-produced visual messages
    • Understand the selfie as an international phenomenon that is subject to and reproduces cultural values and ideals
    • Show an understanding of the ethical implications of engaging with, sharing and studying personal images in social contexts
    • Be able to manage complex forms of information and structure and analyse these visual messages within a cultural, techno-social, political and economic context


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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