This place turns into a go-to space to hastily scrawl stuff instead of actually doing stuff. Insert the meme with a lot of bitten apples that circulated on Twitter today.
I have been wanting to write about Memes forever. To start a section on this website where to dump random findings. A couple of days ago i found myself on the sofa. I had this bookmarked video, i even had my new Remarkable 2 gadget thingy next to me in order to take notes while watching a Mozfest discussion on Memes, Misinfo, and the U.S. Election. Sad to say after a promising start i slowly drifted away. Whatever. At least i know now that Kenyatta Cheese co-founded the Know Your Meme Database where various internet searches have taken me in the last couple of months.
A couple of weeks ago i found the The Critical Meme Reader while looking for something. Scroll down to page 58 to find an article by Crystal Abidin and Bondy Valdovinos Kaye, two of the central faces behind TikTok Cultures Research Network. It is about Audio Memes and the 'Aural Turn' of Memes on TikTok. And of course that got me excited. Because TikTok Memes as a platform specific element has been at the core of my investigations into TikTok (for e.g. Rosa Luxemburg Foundation).
Intermezzo: My latest add to my Zotero dumpster is an article called "Do It for the Culture: The Case for Memes in Qualitative Research" – the author showcases distinctive ways memes can be effectively incorporated in qualitative research pursuits and publications. The article concludes with the necessity of data collection and representation approaches that advance the meaningfulness and cultural-relevance of qualitative inquiry. And in case you were in any doubt: the text establishes memes as: (a) part of everyday communication, expression, and explanation, thus useful in qualitative research; (b) valuable cultural units and symbols. Thus useful.
Some time ago i discovered Meme Studies Research Network – an international and interdisciplinary research network for scholars who study memes founded by Idil Galip (Twitter). Oh my god what a treasure. It has a reading list, it has a reading group, it has a Discord with more and more interesting people flocking together. Here is the entire reading list. The next date for the reading group is March 11. It will be a good starting point i assume. On the list: Richard Dawkins himself. Wikipedia: The word meme itself is a neologism coined by Richard Dawkins, originating from his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. And this Wired-article from 2013: Richard Dawkins on the internet's hijacking of the word 'meme'.
A couple of hours ago i got an email by Ryan Broderick. In fact i get mails regularly because i have a subscription of his newsletter Garbage Day. A good resource for trying to understand parts of contemporary things going on. Broderick teamed up with Jamie Cohen to run a digital 4-weeks course on memes. Now i need to watch a 59 minutes video and skim through two 42 min essays.
A couple of minutes ago i ordered a german book on memes. Now my heart is full. And i might just go back to the things i should rather be doing. Like preparing the last day of an Educational Game Development Lab in Southern Africa. Or that TikTok consulting the day after tomorrow. Or i could just finish this draft zero version of a pre-proposal gathering dust in a google drive folder. While writing this i obviously missed some sort of declaration of war. Come Armageddon Come.