Thinking the Selfie

September 18, 2014
Logo of thinking the selfie

Course Threads, the Townsend Center’s undergraduate curricular enrichment program, has begun a year-long exploration of the selfie in conjunction with the Townsend Center’s Thinking the Self Initiative. Thinking the Self investigates the nature of human experience from the perspectives of art and literature, cognitive and neuro-science, clinical medicine, philosophy, and psychology. 

In line with this Initiative, Course Threads asks members of the campus community at UC Berkeley to share a selfie and up to 140 characters of text offering thoughtful engagement with the genre of the selfie. Not only does thinking about the selfie provide one way to consider what constitutes the “self” and encourage self-examination (a long-held good in the realm of humanities thinking), but it also leads us to reconsider what is at stake in making visible images and in connecting oneself to others on social media through visual expression.


Image credit: selfiecity, a project that has isolated and analyzed selfies
from five cities (Bangkok, Berlin, Moscow, New York, and São Paulo).

There is a growing amount of scholarship with surprising and fascinating observations about the selfie. To learn more and for links to other scholarly and popular articles on the selfie, visit the Course Threads webpage: Thinking the Selfie.

Part of the 
Thinking the Self Initiative.