Author: Laura A. Sparks

Laura Sparks is an Assistant Professor of English at California State University, Chico, where she teaches courses in rhetoric and writing. Her research interests include rhetorical theory, human rights, and digital rhetorics.

What are we to make of the “self” captured in a “selfie”? If one is both author and subject of an image, we might claim a compelling authenticity. But like Donna Haraway’s “cyborg,” the “self” captured in a selfie is subject to replication, participating in mutable, sometimes strategic, subjectivities. Both atoms and bits construct our reality. Extending Haraway’s articulation of the “leaky distinction” between animal and machine, this post considers the intersections of embodiment, agency, and digital modes of being, by way of the selfie—in particular, selfies’ re/production of malleable digital bodies. I theorize malleability, or the capability of being…

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