College of Arts and Science
This course problematizes the development of individual and group identities on the internet and social media due to their multiple, global, shallow, shifting, segmented, and conflictual character. We emphasize a multidisciplinary examination of the internet presentation of diverse identities such as those of the 1960s counter-culture, the Christian right, militias, the alt-right, rural towns, terrorist cells, and life-style and sectarian political and religious groups. We will also examine the processes of publicity and celebrity in the creation of personal identities such as “entrepreneur” (Bill Gates and Steve Jobs), “geek”, “hacker,” and anonymous, and the development of internet technologies and personal identities in the context of commercialism and ideals such as freedom and rebellion. The intersection of personal, work, and professional identities will be considered. Sources will include autobiography, biography, and literature on such topics as diaspora, borders, Empire, and exile.