Features Monday, November 03, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | November 3, 2014 | 4.34 pm IST This may be the only university in the world which actually wants students to while away their time, by dedicating an entire course to allowing them to do just that. This is how the University of Pennsylvania aims to create “compelling and emotional works of literature” based on a new degree course for students in the Department of English during spring 2015. “Wasting time on the internet” is to be a degree level course in which students will be part of a three-hour session every week where verbal interaction is banned, and students will communicate online via chat rooms and on social media.  Prof. Kenneth Goldsmith, who heads the Department of English at the University, is the brain behind the course. He was also the man responsible for the “Printing out the Internet” campaign, which asked users to send in pictures of the Internet to a Tumblr page. The students will be studying the internet in terms of wasting time and the University on its page mentions the idea of creating your own biography while using only social media feed as input.  As part of the initiative, students will read the works of cultural critic Raymond Williams, John Cage and Georges Perec among others, while studying the “history of the recuperation of boredom and time-wasting through critical texts about affect theory”.
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