Selfies feature on curriculum

Elaine Webster
Elaine Webster
From imagining the consequences of a meteor strike to the cultural significance of selfies, the University of Otago Summer School is expanding its horizons, as well as its roll, this year.

Summer school director Elaine Webster said  1671 students had enrolled, about 60 more than last year, and she was expecting a few more over  over the next few weeks. Yesterday was the first day of class, and the intensive school will  run until February 15. 

An official welcome will be held tomorrow morning for all students. Summer school gave students a chance to take papers which interested them but which were not part of their degree, Dr Webster said.

Quirky new courses  this year include MFCO224, "studying selfies: celebrity, surveillance and cyberspace", which looked at the "selfie"’ as a popular cultural phenomena, a digital process and a space for communication and cultural expression.

"It’s a huge phenomenon. It’s a really important pop culture expression.

"Part of what they will be doing is actually taking a lot of selfies."

Dr Webster said a new physics paper about the sun, the earth and the universe was also being offered, and a perennial favourite was forensic biology, which was a "really popular paper", aimed at analysing biological evidence as it relates to legal and other investigations.

"It’s usually in first or second place." 


Would this create or enhance more narcissism in an already narcissistic and self-focussed era ?