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Professor Kenneth Goldsmith will teach "Wasting time on the internet" at PennKenneth Goldsmith

University offers ‘Wasting Time on the Internet’ class

MoMA Poet Laureate and professor Kenneth Goldsmith will teach the seminar to Penn students

Creative writing students at the University of Pennsylvania will finally get a chance to major in what every undergrad dreams of: wasting time on the internet.

Poet, UbuWeb founder and professor Kenneth Goldsmith is teaching a weekly class next semester which requires students to "stare at the screen for three hours, only interacting through chat rooms, bots, social media and listservs".

Appropriately, the seminar is titled "Wasting time on the internet". The only course materials needed are a wi-fi connection and a laptop.

Unlike the conventional wisdom about procrastinating online, Goldsmith believes that enforcing a state of "distraction, multi-tasking, and aimless drifting" might prove as creatively fertile as automatic writing was for the Surrealist writers. 

“I’m so tired of reading, every time you pick up a paper, on how bad the Web is," he told the Washington Post. "I don’t think that’s true. I think the Internet is making us smarter."

Unfortunately, students will not be graded on how much time and outrage they waste on the Daily Mail Sidebar of Shame. Goldsmith wants his class to take the raw materials of "clicking, SMSing, status-updating and random surfing" and turn them into "substantial works of literature". 

Goldsmith is also the brains behind one of the most popular creative writing classes at Penn: Uncreative Writing, in which all class assignments must be completely plagiarised, stolen and copied from other sources.

In 2013, he was appointed the first Poet Laureate of the Museum of Modern Art. You can read more his literary manifesto here

To check out more Kenneth Goldsmith, head here for his curated day of poetry on Dazed.