“The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism,” Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his landmark 2010 article “Small Change: Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted.” Since then, authors and cultural critics have continually weighed in on the convergence of digital technology and social change. Amir Soltani calls cell phones in political protests “mirrors for witnessing each other’s presence,” while Jia Tolentino excoriates social media as “an acid snowfall on our collective mind.”  This course explores the roles that digital and social media play in shaping and representing social and political movements around the world, and how that role has evolved over time. From conventional media such as newspapers and documentary films to social media including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to literary texts such as "Twitter novels" and poems created with accompanying YouTube videos, this class analyzes the language and themes of our digital conversations and the role they now play in shaping debates about race, religion, gender, class, authority, violence, and activism as they circulate in real time on our personal screens. Students write papers, give presentations, and submit assignments via Wiki, Instagram/Snapchat, and Twitter and group work on Moodle and collaborative online platforms such as Tumblr.  “So what's it all about, this Twitter?” Margaret Atwood wrote when she first began experimenting with the literary qualities of the medium. She concluded with what is, in many ways, the core premise of this course: “Let's just say it's communication, and communication is something human beings like to do



Cross Listed Courses

Same course at AT 181.

Registration Restrictions

Open to First-Years and Sophomors

Enrollment Limit

Enrollment limited to 28 students.