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As Bhakti Sharma’s BHF talk addresses, we are currently in the age of the selfie. Carefully curated social media “selves” have drawn attention the ways we create multiple, often overlaid identities. It has exposed our fascination with “authentic” identities and how we judge our selves against the selves of others. The “realness” or “fakeness” of our social media selves has lead to multiple studies on happiness, the psychology of social media, and what social media trends say about our society. The studies then become reported widely throughout academic and popular media.

It might be tempting to think that our current selfie-obsessed moment is utterly new—certainly the easier access to quality cameras and ubiquity of social media networks have changed the way we present and think about our public selves. But UB Distinguished Professor of History Jonathan Dewald’s #BHF16 talk finds continuities between the approach to selfhood that emerged in the Renaissance to our own versions of social media selfhoods. Professor Dewald will show how the Renaissance broke the Medieval European constraints of self and allowed the modern self to develop freely, making the case that understanding how that process of selfhood worked in the Renaissance can help us understand ourselves today.

Please join us and Professor Dewald for his talk, “Curating the Self in Renaissance Europe,” on Saturday, 9/24 from 2:30pm-3:30pm in Ketchum Hall, Room 111. And if you want to post about it on social media, don’t forget to #BHF16!

Jonathan Dewald is UB Distinguished Professor of History at the University at Buffalo.  He studies French cultural and social history and the history of ruling groups across Europe.

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