“Anthropologists learn by doing fieldwork,” says Maggie Cummings, a lecturer at UTSC. So when she’s teaching the cultural politics of visual representation, what better assignment than to ask students to take – and analyze – a selfie? “A lot of professors think of cellphones as the enemy,” says Cummings, “but I wanted to actually use the phone as a tool and look at it as a cultural artifact.”
Her students loved the assignment. “They had fun; they created fantastic photos and said really interesting things in their papers,” says Cummings. After a class discussion about narcissism and selfies, one male student took a picture with a female friend in the background, trying on lipstick in a mirror. “He wrote a great paper,” says Cummings, “questioning the norms of the objectification of women that we take for granted.”
U of T’s 196th Birthday Quiz
Test your knowledge of all things U of T in honour of the university’s 196th anniversary on March 15!
Spreading the Gospel
A Juno Award-winning teacher wants all his students to feel there is a place for them in music
Cities Are Driving Evolution
Globally crowdsourced study shows that white clovers are biologically adapting to city life, demonstrating the profound impact of urbanization