Students at the University of Pennsylvania will soon have a novel way of fulfilling an English Department requirement, thanks to a new class that’s all about the Internet.
Required materials for the class, called “Wasting time on the Internet,” include a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection but notably exclude any printed material that might distract students from their mandated allotment of time-wasting. “Students will be required to stare at the screen for three hours, only interacting through chat rooms, bots, social media and listservs,” according to the course description on the university’s website, first spotted by Vice Motherboard.
The higher purpose of the course is to shape the detritus of the Internet into meaningful works of art. As the description asks prospective students: “Could we reconstruct our autobiography using only Facebook? Could we write a great novella by plundering our Twitter feed?” Those are big questions for some of the nation’s best and brightest, who will begin to answer them this coming spring.