Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/556817
Title:
On the Language of Internet Memes
Author:
De la Rosa-Carrillo, Ernesto León
Issue Date:
2015
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Internet Memes transverse and sometimes transcend cyberspace on the back of impossibly cute LOLcats speaking mangled English and the snarky remarks of Image Macro characters always on the lookout for someone to undermine. No longer the abstract notion of a cultural gene that Dawkins (2006) introduced in the late 1970s, memes have now become synonymous with a particular brand of vernacular language that internet users engage by posting, sharing and remixing digital content as they communicate jokes, emotions and opinions. For the purpose of this research the language of Internet Memes is understood as visual, succinct and capable of inviting active engagement by users who encounter digital content online that exhibits said characteristics. Internet Memes were explored through an Arts-Based Educational Research framework by first identifying the conventions that shape them and then interrogating these conventions during two distinct research phases. In the first phase the researcher, as a doctoral student in art and visual culture education, engaged class readings and assignments by generating digital content that not only responded to the academic topics at hand but did so through forms associated with Internet Memes like Image Macros and Animated GIFs. In the second phase the researcher became a meme literacy facilitator as learners in three different age-groups were led in the reading, writing and remixing of memes during a month-long summer art camp where they were also exposed to other art-making processes such as illustration, acting and sculpture. Each group of learners engaged age-appropriate meme types: 1) the youngest group, 6 and 7 year-olds, wrote Emoji Stories and Separated at Birth memes; 2) the middle group, 8-10 year-olds, worked with Image Macros and Perception memes, 3) while the oldest group, 11-13 year-olds, generated Image Macros and Animated GIFs. The digital content emerging from both research phases was collected as data and analyzed through a hybrid of Memetics, Actor-Network Theory, Object Oriented Ontology, Remix Theory and Glitch Studies as the researcher shifted shapes yet again and became a Research Jockey sampling freely from each field of study. A case is made for Internet Memes to be understood as an actor-network where meme collectives, individual cybernauts, software and source material are all actants interrelating and making each other enact collective agencies through shared authorships. Additionally specific educational contexts are identified where the language of Internet Memes can serve to incorporate technology, storytelling, visual thinking and remix practices into art and visual culture education. Finally, the document reporting on the research expands on the hermeneutics of Internet Memes and the phenomenological experiences they elicit that are otherwise absent from traditional scholarly prose. Chapter by chapter the dissertation was crafted as a journey from the academic to the whimsical, from the lecture hall to the image board (where Internet Memes were born), from the written word to the remixed image as a visual language that is equal parts form and content that emerges and culminates in a concluding chapter composed almost entirely of popular Internet Meme types. An online component can be found at http://memeducation.org/
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Arts-Based Educational Research; Arts-Based Research; Internet Memes; New Literacies; Remix; Art History & Education; Actor-Networks
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Art History & Education
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Garber, Elizabeth J.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleOn the Language of Internet Memesen_US
dc.creatorDe la Rosa-Carrillo, Ernesto Leónen
dc.contributor.authorDe la Rosa-Carrillo, Ernesto Leónen
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractInternet Memes transverse and sometimes transcend cyberspace on the back of impossibly cute LOLcats speaking mangled English and the snarky remarks of Image Macro characters always on the lookout for someone to undermine. No longer the abstract notion of a cultural gene that Dawkins (2006) introduced in the late 1970s, memes have now become synonymous with a particular brand of vernacular language that internet users engage by posting, sharing and remixing digital content as they communicate jokes, emotions and opinions. For the purpose of this research the language of Internet Memes is understood as visual, succinct and capable of inviting active engagement by users who encounter digital content online that exhibits said characteristics. Internet Memes were explored through an Arts-Based Educational Research framework by first identifying the conventions that shape them and then interrogating these conventions during two distinct research phases. In the first phase the researcher, as a doctoral student in art and visual culture education, engaged class readings and assignments by generating digital content that not only responded to the academic topics at hand but did so through forms associated with Internet Memes like Image Macros and Animated GIFs. In the second phase the researcher became a meme literacy facilitator as learners in three different age-groups were led in the reading, writing and remixing of memes during a month-long summer art camp where they were also exposed to other art-making processes such as illustration, acting and sculpture. Each group of learners engaged age-appropriate meme types: 1) the youngest group, 6 and 7 year-olds, wrote Emoji Stories and Separated at Birth memes; 2) the middle group, 8-10 year-olds, worked with Image Macros and Perception memes, 3) while the oldest group, 11-13 year-olds, generated Image Macros and Animated GIFs. The digital content emerging from both research phases was collected as data and analyzed through a hybrid of Memetics, Actor-Network Theory, Object Oriented Ontology, Remix Theory and Glitch Studies as the researcher shifted shapes yet again and became a Research Jockey sampling freely from each field of study. A case is made for Internet Memes to be understood as an actor-network where meme collectives, individual cybernauts, software and source material are all actants interrelating and making each other enact collective agencies through shared authorships. Additionally specific educational contexts are identified where the language of Internet Memes can serve to incorporate technology, storytelling, visual thinking and remix practices into art and visual culture education. Finally, the document reporting on the research expands on the hermeneutics of Internet Memes and the phenomenological experiences they elicit that are otherwise absent from traditional scholarly prose. Chapter by chapter the dissertation was crafted as a journey from the academic to the whimsical, from the lecture hall to the image board (where Internet Memes were born), from the written word to the remixed image as a visual language that is equal parts form and content that emerges and culminates in a concluding chapter composed almost entirely of popular Internet Meme types. An online component can be found at http://memeducation.org/en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectArts-Based Educational Researchen
dc.subjectArts-Based Researchen
dc.subjectInternet Memesen
dc.subjectNew Literaciesen
dc.subjectRemixen
dc.subjectArt History & Educationen
dc.subjectActor-Networksen
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineArt History & Educationen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorGarber, Elizabeth J.en
dc.contributor.committeememberBetts, Daviden
dc.contributor.committeememberSharma, Manishaen
dc.contributor.committeememberGarber, Elizabeth J.en
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