Posting on Facebook has become an everyday matter for over 1.8 billion users. And while a political rant or tribute to your beloved may draw a flurry of “likes”, few people would call them literature. But now Delhi University (DU) begs to differ – and hopes to add “Facebook post writing” to its English curriculum.
Students could also be taught how to write an engaging blog or cover-letter.
DU is among India’s premier universities, with alumni including the country’s prime minister Narendra Modi, and Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
The draft English syllabus containing the proposal is currently being reviewed by DU professors.Professor Christel Devadawson, head of the university’s English department, told the BBC that Facebook updates would be part of a Skill Enhancement Course – a non-academic module designed to teach vocational skills.
The Hindustan Times notes that in India, social media can catapult an aspiring writer or artist to fame, helping them reach a wider audience or even find a publisher.
So is the art of going viral really a core skill for literature students nowadays?
A senior DU official told the Press Trust of India: “Writing does not necessarily mean […] heavyweight non-fiction books or highly-dramatised fiction.
“It also includes writing generic but important content properly, such as that for blog posts, cover letters – or, for that matter, Facebook posts.”
DU is not the first university to approach Facebook with an academic eye. The UK’s University of Salford was offering a master’s degree in social media as far back as 2009. Course leaders said it was designed to produce the next generation of strategic thinkers and PR professionals.
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