|Follow on Twitter as @jryoung|
|Photo: Example of a 'photoshlopped' image, by Mark Marino|
But this course is real—as well as an act of satire. It’s called “How to Write and Read Fake News: Journalism in the Age of Trump,” and it’s being offered as a kind of performance art to draw attention to the problem of the influential falsehoods that are spreading online. The course is the latest offering from a long-running satirical project called UnderAcademy College, whose previous courses included “Grammar Porn” and “Underwater Procrastination and Advanced Desublimation Techniques.”
One of the new course’s professors is Mark Marino, an associate professor in the writing program at University of Southern California—though he’s doing it as a side project and the effort has no connection to USC. (His co-teacher, or co-digressor as they call it, is Talan Memmott, a visiting professor of mass communication and transmedia at Winona State University.)
Satire, Marino argues, may be the most effective tool at what he called a time of trial for the truth. We caught up with him last week to find out more about the project—and how teachers can best respond to the rise of fake news. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.