ENG 103: American Selfie

In the fall of 2018, I taught a first-year writing course at Spelman College. Our topic, American Selfie, explored representations of self in literature, media, and pop culture. Assignments included composition essentials like the Selfie Culture Position Piece, which asked students to write a persuasive essay arguing about the harms and benefits of selfie culture, and multimodal compositions such as the Self Portrait Photo Essay, which required students to create a series of digital images about the people, places, and things important to their sense of self. My students really enjoyed this class! One student wrote on her evaluation: “I really loved this class because it was not like your traditional English class. The professor made it so fun and new, and we talked about pop culture also which was really cool. There hasn’t been one essay where I completely dreaded writing it.” Another student commented that the course “keeps you interested due to its engagement in today’s news and it gives students the opportunity to express themselves in creative ways.” I hope I get the chance to teach this course again in the future!

Scroll down for our syllabus and some examples of our classroom actives and assignments.


Images from the Self Portrait Photo Essay
I designed a writing assignment to make use of Spelman’s wonderful archive of Audre Lorde materials. Students compared and contrasted drafts of the prologue of Zami, one of our course texts.
A tattoo drawing classroom activity inspired by Roxane Gay’s Hunger.
A word cloud students composed based on our discussion of Hunger.

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