Beginning in the Fall 2013 semester, students in Concordia’s photography program will only be taught to use the Instagram app on their phones
The image-filtering service, which is best-known for semi-nude selfies taken in bathroom mirrors, is “a legitimate academic tool,” according to Bob Hundert, the University’s Dean of Fine Arts. “What is art?” he asked. “If the use of filters like ‘apocalyptic watermelon’ makes viewers feel something – anything – that’s art. And that’s why we’re focusing on Instagram.”
Despite some initial reservations, the Photography Department is now supporting the change. “My students are always on their phones in class anyways,” said Melanie Scott, PhD. “At least now they’ll get some credit for it.” Professor Rowan Moore, who is teaching “The Panopticon in Celebrity Images: From Rihanna to Miley Cyrus” this fall, will rank his students based on the number of likes their pictures get. “I won’t have to spend any time assessing the merit of their work,” he jubilantly proclaimed.
Concordia students hope the new courses will give them an edge in the job market. “Taking pictures at weddings used to be the backup plan for photography majors,” said Marie-France Labrecque, who just completed the sixth year of her degree. “But nobody gets married anymore.”
With her new training in Instagram, Labrecque hopes to become a citizen journalist, food blogger, social media star, or Paulina Gretzky.
If the Instagram program is a success, Hundert plans on transforming more of the University’s programs. “We could teach sexual diversity studies with Grindr and history with Sky Gambler: Cold War. The possibilities in the digital humanities are endless.”