First Advisor

Christian Smith


The aim of this article is to unravel the craftsmanship of online identities implicit in taking and sharing selfies and to measure the immediate or resulting violence by imposed definition upon the subject-photographer. This paper especially focuses on the identity building of young women on the social networking platform Instagram. Crucial to the research are Susan Sontag's work on photography philosophy relating to violence inflicted upon subjects, Gregory Ulmer's work on electracy, and Liana De Girolami Cheney's research into artistic conventions of self-portraiture dating back from the Renaissance to the present. The highly constructed nature of selfies, an emerging art form that can be viewed as continuance in self-portraiture, functions dually to give the artist agency and to enact violence against him or herself.



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