by Liz Losh
"Selfies have been in the news a lot lately, particularly after the Oxford English Dictionary declared “selfie” to be the word of the year for 2013. During the last month I have been quoted in The Washington Post, USA Today, and Politico.com about this global Internet genre. An essay of mine appeared on the new website SelfieCity, an archive of thousands of selfies from five cities around the world, so reporters eager for an expert opinion have been calling and e-mailing.
"Less attention gets paid to selfies as a teaching tool, although Jill Walker Rettberg has been studying online courses that promote women’s self-worth and empowerment by shooting selfies, as she explains in this blog post. Now, the Selfies Research Network, founded by Terri Senft, is working to expand the pedagogical possibilities of the selfie and explore these instructional potentials with others in the Association of Internet Researchers.
"In an interview with DML Central, Bowling Green State University selfie professor Radhika Gajjala explained her rationale for teaching with a form of composition that is often considered too trivial for serious consideration in the classroom. “In high school and undergrad education, you go where the student is, and that’s what they are doing, whether you like it or not.” She explained that this approach emphasizes “the learning process, community responsibility, self-presentation, and the global access of others to what they do.”