The course, called “My Self, My Selife: The Art of The Self Portrait,” will be an in depth study on the history of the narcissistic trend and compulsion of posting photos of oneself on social media.
Students will be required to take and post a selfie a day for the entire three-month duration of the semester.
“If you think about it, selfies have been around for ages: Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, all the way back to Raphael. Self portraits are the original selfies,” said Professor Samuel Stanley, who will be teaching this class.
While a course on selfies may seem trite or counter-educational to most schools, it makes perfect sense for Emerson College, a liberal arts school with a prestigious communications and film program.
“We have a course on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the history of burlesque. Not to mention our Quidditch team has a bigger following than any of our Division Three sports teams,” said Emerson president Lee Pelton.
“We’ve always been proactive and ahead of the curve with our curriculum. Selfies are the future. Social media is the future. Before you know it, photographers will be obsolete. We are a film school after all. It is our mission to teach our students the future of the fields.”
Apparently this course sparked into creation after it was announced that Kim Kardashian will publish a “book” entirely composed of selfies. The college approached the mogul to do a guest lecture for the class, but was turned down due to “scheduling conflicts,” and never wanting to “step foot in Boston.”
“We will pretty much let anyone be an artist in residence at Emerson, as long as they donate enough money,” Pelton said. Last year the college renamed its communications school The Ron Burgundy School of Communication for a day in an attempt to promote the release of Anchorman 2.
In addition to celebrating the art of selfies, the course is also required by the state to address the dangers of self portraits, focusing on that guy who accidentally shot himself taking a gun selfie, the police officer who took a selfie as a suicidal man jumped to his death, or that other guy who committed suicide after being unable to take the perfect selfie.
“We are by no means attempting to glamorize selfies; rather, we’re examining the raw, sad and lonely side of it, also know as Justin Bieber’s Instagram account,” Stanley said.
A Selfie or Just Selfish?
Like any form of art, there will be critics. The course will also be focused on giving honest critique on selfies in hopes of keeping millennials more grounded and self-aware, also know as “managing the millennial ego.”
But not everyone is excited about this new course. Alumni Elliott Smith (’08) laments, “This is utter insanity. This selfie course is just proof that my overpriced college education gave me nothing but debt. Maybe if the college taught more courses like, ‘When It’s Time to Give Up On Your Dreams,’ or ‘The Art of a Part-Time Job,’ I wouldn’t be $30,000 in debt and living with my parents.”
At Emerson, Smith studied M. Night Shyamalan’s work, a major he created himself, as that is something the college encourages their students to do.
“I personally think this selfies class is just what Emerson needs,” said Penelope Andrews, a freshman. “I mean, do you see some of the students here? It’s an eyesore. Hopefully this class will teach some self awareness.”
Andrews does not look like your typical Emerson student. While most of the student body is drenched in black and smoking cloves, Andrews looks like she’s about to rush Elle Woods’ sorority.
“Selfies are like super important to my future,” Andrews said. “I’m only in college to meet my husband. Then I found out most guys here are either gay or egomaniacs. So now what do I have? Tinder and Instagram. Selfies is my 10-year plan to get a ring on this.”
Andrews appears to be under the misconception that this course will make her instantly good at taking selfies. Like those who assume taking a history of media arts course will suddenly make you the next Martin Scorsese.
“I’m aware that this course is getting some backlash,” said Professor Stanley. “But to quote the great Taylor Swift, ‘Haters gonna hate, hate, hate.’”
The college is in talks about offering a course on Vines as a requirement for its film program.