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Meme has become a by-word of contemporary digital culture. This term has been used to described simplified contents such as captioned macro pictures, short-videos, recurring phrases and all sorts of internet fads that we find on social media. With their penchant for humour and sarcasm, their remixability, irony and recursivity, memes are an interesting object of study because they seem to embody much of what is unique about digital culture vis-a-vis pre-digital cultures. Furthermore, they have become the privileged means through which all sorts of new online contents travel, from extremist propaganda, to social and political issue formation, to celebrity fandom and trolling.

What does the prominence of internet memes tell us about our society at a time of profound crises of capitalism? What do some of memes’ recurring characters such as the Wojaks, Virgin vs. Chad and all sorts of variations on Spongebob and BoJack Horseman, tell us about the emerging fears and preoccupations of our society? Are memes simply a neutral medium that can fit any content, or do they carry their own bias and specificities? And if so what is the dominant cultural spirit of memes? Are they the reflection of an hyper-reflective society that cannot take itself seriously and which is caught into self-introspection and presentism? Or do they offer hope of constructive self-criticism and potentials for social and political imagination?

This online conference will bring together scholars working on memes and their cultural, economic, political implications.

Book your place here. You will be sent the access link along with a programme of abstracts, speaker bios and panel details 2 days prior to the conference.