Social media is a key contemporary site of activity for politics, entertainment, and relationships, but how can we study it? This course combines theory and practice; students will both read canonical and contemporary social media research from leading scholars and learn to engage with social media platforms to collect and analyze their own data. From fan communities and discourse about works of literature to meme-makers skewering cultural objects, online spaces enable readership, creation, circulation, and transformation of humanist texts – and the active making and remaking of public history. Social media platforms are the space to study a range of discourse, particularly in this time of collective reliance due to physical distancing. This course will both use social media for course content and community (delivered through asynchronous modules, and supported by a Slack channel for discussions and questions) and as a site of research.
This syllabus is built in part using open access materials from the “Understanding Digital Culture” NEH Institute hosted by Anastasia Salter and Mel Stanfill, available here: https://understandingdigitalculture.hcommons.org/