Sunday, September 25, 2016

social media is people!

not a selfie, but so very much about
self, self-identity, choice. there's
a great story about my determined 
choice to be photographed in THIS
dress. MINE! 
... messy, icky, less-than-ideally *curated* people. Following my interest in conceptions of "self" that have shifted through time*, on into our selfie loving cultures, I am currently collecting resources on the contemporary ability to "curate" selves through social media. Of course, we have always been curators (of selves). What I am interested in exploring is the emergence and uptake of seemingly helpful discourses reiterating the everyday claim that we choose to be in certain ways; we choose to represent ourselves strategically. Cue Goffman, but wow ... there are many fine voices articulating this by-now quite obvious reality.

What gets me is how we in Rhetoric and Composition (and in Writing Studies, Digital Media Studies, Digital Humanities, etc., etc.) are exploring and teaching curatorial practices as forms of sound rhetorical knowledge that we should possess, that we should be wise enough to obediently practice. I am interested in these helpful discourses even as I find many reasons to resist their pedagogical desire.

All of this is to mark the beginning of my work on the next book, C'est Mwah! I am referring to my book on selfies and the constellating images, films, screen moments, and discourses that help shape our investments in taking selfies, sharing selfies, and dissing selfies. Me? I'm pro-selfie, but it's complicated. More in the book. 

*it was Diane Davis who finally helped clarify my thinking. Her work on rhetoricity has been generously instructive in ways words cannot describe. 

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