UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2016

R1A - 001 | CCN: 15500

The Craft of Writing - Self/Selfie: Self and Media

Simona Schneider and Chi Li

4 Units

This class explores various locations of the self, such as the portrait, photo album, selfie, police file, poem, and diary. We will discuss representations of the self that complicate the dichotomy between the individual and collective, the private and the public. The self often has a variety of manifestations, as a body, a mind, an individual, an agent, a brand, an identity, and more. How does the self act as a medium? How does the self as a medium interact with other media? This class looks at the interaction between different ways of conceiving the self and media practices. The class materials will help students form an analytical approach to media technologies and a greater contextual understanding of the self.

Students will practice writing as a process of mediating between “self” and world, and become aware of the self as a changing concept. In emphasizing close analysis and negotiating a range of theoretical and historical lenses, the course will sharpen students’ observation and reading skills as well as develop students’ academic writing techniques and make them aware of their style and self-representation. Writers will become more comfortable with expressing tensions, uncertainties, ambiguities, and contradictions, and will be encouraged to look for complexity in the objects they encounter and concepts they explore.