Memes in the Age of Coronavirus

Summer 2020
PAH 160D3 - Memes: The Art & Craft of Microstorytelling

The idea of the "meme" was coined by Richard Dawkins in the 1970s to describe units of culture that replicated in a similar way to genetic material—things like catch phrases, clothing fashions, or slogans. The term has since come to primarily mean internet memes, the vast world of audiovisual and textual material that is copied and reinterpreted by internet users under the logics of participatory digital culture. Despite assumptions to the contrary, memes are one of the most dynamic, creative, and important kinds of culture today, and our class took on the task of thinking about these often hilarious and at times strikingly political pieces of culture. Due to stay-at-home orders, people around the world have been producing and sharing memes at a prolific pace, and our collective goal was to identify, organize, and analyze some of these memes, as well as contribute our own original memes to this global conversation. Several hundred memes, along with a handful of analytic essays, are organized into nine chapters of topical themes related to current events, one chapter that focuses on unpacking the histories of particular memes, and three appendices of additional assorted coronavirus memes, classic memes, and non-internet memes. i can haz meemburger?

Jordan Goldman

Jacob Sichmeller

Nathan Grossman

Dustin Taylor

Cameron Bly

Carly Hartman

Kyle Tremose

Zachery Braaten-Schuettpelz

Kaden Hopson

Hanna Wietsma

Pierson Brackpool

Josh Kahn

Kaylee Wilt

Angelo Bravo

Brandon Kaplan

Alex Wu

Eve Chase

Ashwin Khawani

Logan Coddington

Tina Le

Matthew Cortez

Xylia Marquez

Ryland Dodge

Kyle McCarthy

Hanna Drue

Kurt Nacionales

Dori Enzler

Elianna Perez

Dominic Fiore

Hunter Pesqueira

Braulio Flores

Paula Rhyne

Hayli Gibson

Noah Salinas