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RICHARD S. PINNER
EFL students’ memes and their role in participatory culture
ME AND MY MEMES
What is a Meme?
Dawkins first coinage of the word
The word meme was first coined by
Richard Dawkins, in his book The Selfish
Gene. He refers to them as ‘self-
replicating’ ideas’ (1976, p. 255) and
‘self-replicating patterns of information’
(1976, p. 431).
British evolutionary biologist and author. He is
an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford
Dawkins, R. (1976). The selfish gene (40th
Anniversary ed.). Oxford: Oxford University
Press.
Anything that spreads
through imitation […] is a
meme (Dawkins, 2013, “Just
for Hits” talk given at New
Directors Showcase
“Viruses of the mind”
(1976)
Memes
The concept of memes was developed in
‘esoteric forums and message boards,
where participants first linked Dawkins’s
theories of cultural replication to shared
in-jokes, catchphrases, and signature
texts’ (Milner 2016, 1)
Milner, R. M. (2016). The World Made
Meme: Public Conversations and
Participatory Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT
Press.
Memes as a Lingua Franca
Memetic logics and grammar facilitating a rich and
complex social vernacular. To the collectives conversing
through it, this vernacular functions as a lingua franca
that facilitates expression and conversation spanning vast
geographic and social contexts (Milner, 2016, pp 79)
This is not technically a meme
This is an Image Macro.
This is the Meme aspect of it
Participation – Produsers
Bird, S. E. (2011). Are We
All Produsers Now?
Cultural Studies,
25(4-5), 502-516.
https://doi.org/10.1
080/09502386.2011.
600532
Participatory Culture
• ‘a culture with relatively low barriers to
artistic expression and civic
engagement, strong support for creating
and sharing one’s creations, and some
type of informal mentorship whereby
what is known by the most experienced
is passed to novices’ (p. 3). It is also ‘one
in which members believe their
contributions matter, and feel some
degree of social connection with one
another (at least they care about what
other people think about what they
have created).’ (p. 3).
Jenkins, H., Purushotma, R., Clinton, K., Weigel, M.,
& Robinson, A. (2006). Confronting the Challenges of
Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st
Century. Cambridge,.
Drake Hotline Bling
Cat Drake
On December 15th, 2016, Instagram [22] user
@yisucrist published a photoshopped version of the
Drake "Don't Like/Like" exploitable, featuring a black
cat's head edited onto Drake's body.
About 14 months later, on February 22nd,
Twitter[19] user @DustyFotter posted a version of
this meme with a new cat superimposed over
Drake's face . Next to the images of the cat are a cat
bed and a cardboard box, indicating that cats prefer
the box to the bed. The post (shown below, left)
received more than 12,000 retweets and 28,000
likes in four days.
https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/drakeposting
Deumert, A. (2014). The performance of a ludic self on social network (ing) sites. In P.
Seargeant & C. Tagg (Eds.), The language of social media: identity and community on the
Internet (pp. 23-45). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
The internet has and
digital culture is said
to have a specific
brand of humour
• Dark, warped,
satirical… ludic
Why don’t I understand
If you are not familiar with the
images or original reference, you
may not fully appreciate the meme.
But that doesn’t matter, as things
are constantly repurposed anyway.
Humour is also an aspect, and as
such it belongs to “in groups” only
who will share and appreciate the
joke.
If you don’t get it, you’re not in the
group.
Argot and Cant Languages
• An argot (English: /ˈɑːrɡoʊ/; from
French argot [aʁˈɡo] 'slang') is a
secret language used by various
groups—e.g., schoolmates, outlaws,
colleagues, among many others—to
prevent outsiders from
understanding their conversations.
• A cant is the jargon or argot of a
group, often employed to exclude
or mislead people outside the
group.
Also has its own celebrities
Embracing Celebrity Status
Slang
a constantly
changing linguistic
phenomenon
present in every
subculture
worldwide
LOL
Laugh Out Loud
“Sorry to hear about your
Grandma, lol”
Memes
Memes (and Image Macros) & Language
tbh bae idgaf
Frankly my
dear, I don’t
give a damn
•To Be Honest
•Bae = baby
•I don’t give a
F***
Written or Textual
Prosody
Tagg, C. (2015).
Exploring digital
communication:
Language in action.
Routledge.
Lolspeak /
chanspeak
Internet Slang
Intentional mis-spellings and ungrammatical expressions
Evolves constantly and at accelerated speed
Written/Spoken language conventions merged
Use of fonts, punctuation etc. to add nuance to expressions
Collective Identity
• Gal, N., Shifman, L., & Kampf, Z.
(2016). “It Gets Better”: Internet
memes and the construction of
collective identity. New Media &
Society, 18(8), 1698–
1714. https://doi.org/10.1177/14
61444814568784
• different groups, their attitudes, ideologies
and interests are represented more clearly
and more directly than ever before through
the appropriation of popular contents and
images
• Pavlović, L. M. (2016). Internet memes as a field of discursive
construction of identity and space of resistance. AM Časopis
za studije umetnosti i medija, (10), 97-106.
Nationality, age, sexuality and other aspects of one’s identity can be
apparent in Memes. (Phillips, 2015 [talking about online trolls])
Even simply sharing a meme is an act of identity creation because in
sharing you are endorsing the meme and displaying your belonging to
that particular in-group because you ‘get it’.
Currency / Trending
Student made memes
WW class memes
• Students enjoyed making the
memes, but especially sharing
them on the class forum with
other students
• Simple language
• Expression of self
• Group identity
• Motivating (?)
Memes and EFL
• Harshavardhan, V., Wilson, D., & Kumar, M. V. (2019). Humour discourse in
internet memes: An aid in ESL classrooms. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 29(1),
41-53.
• Purnama, A. D. (2017). Incorporating memes and instagram to enhance
students participation. LLT Journal: A Journal on Language and Language
Teaching, 20(1), 1-14.
• Romero, E. D., & Bobkina, J. (2017). Teaching visual literacy through memes
in the language classroom. The image in English language teaching, 59-70.
• Romero, E. D., & Bobkina, J. (2021). Exploring critical and visual literacy
needs in digital learning environments: The use of memes in the EFL/ESL
university classroom. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 40, 100783.
Pinner (202???) !!!!
Questions?
Thank you
Full slides and all
citations available on
my website
www.uniliterate.com

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Me and My Memes: EFL students’ memes and their role in participatory culture

  • 1. RICHARD S. PINNER EFL students’ memes and their role in participatory culture ME AND MY MEMES
  • 2. What is a Meme?
  • 3. Dawkins first coinage of the word The word meme was first coined by Richard Dawkins, in his book The Selfish Gene. He refers to them as ‘self- replicating’ ideas’ (1976, p. 255) and ‘self-replicating patterns of information’ (1976, p. 431). British evolutionary biologist and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford Dawkins, R. (1976). The selfish gene (40th Anniversary ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 4.
  • 5. Anything that spreads through imitation […] is a meme (Dawkins, 2013, “Just for Hits” talk given at New Directors Showcase “Viruses of the mind” (1976)
  • 6. Memes The concept of memes was developed in ‘esoteric forums and message boards, where participants first linked Dawkins’s theories of cultural replication to shared in-jokes, catchphrases, and signature texts’ (Milner 2016, 1) Milner, R. M. (2016). The World Made Meme: Public Conversations and Participatory Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • 7. Memes as a Lingua Franca Memetic logics and grammar facilitating a rich and complex social vernacular. To the collectives conversing through it, this vernacular functions as a lingua franca that facilitates expression and conversation spanning vast geographic and social contexts (Milner, 2016, pp 79)
  • 8. This is not technically a meme This is an Image Macro.
  • 9. This is the Meme aspect of it
  • 10. Participation – Produsers Bird, S. E. (2011). Are We All Produsers Now? Cultural Studies, 25(4-5), 502-516. https://doi.org/10.1 080/09502386.2011. 600532
  • 11. Participatory Culture • ‘a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed to novices’ (p. 3). It is also ‘one in which members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection with one another (at least they care about what other people think about what they have created).’ (p. 3). Jenkins, H., Purushotma, R., Clinton, K., Weigel, M., & Robinson, A. (2006). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Cambridge,.
  • 12.
  • 13.
  • 15.
  • 16. Cat Drake On December 15th, 2016, Instagram [22] user @yisucrist published a photoshopped version of the Drake "Don't Like/Like" exploitable, featuring a black cat's head edited onto Drake's body. About 14 months later, on February 22nd, Twitter[19] user @DustyFotter posted a version of this meme with a new cat superimposed over Drake's face . Next to the images of the cat are a cat bed and a cardboard box, indicating that cats prefer the box to the bed. The post (shown below, left) received more than 12,000 retweets and 28,000 likes in four days. https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/drakeposting
  • 17. Deumert, A. (2014). The performance of a ludic self on social network (ing) sites. In P. Seargeant & C. Tagg (Eds.), The language of social media: identity and community on the Internet (pp. 23-45). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. The internet has and digital culture is said to have a specific brand of humour • Dark, warped, satirical… ludic
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20.
  • 21. Why don’t I understand If you are not familiar with the images or original reference, you may not fully appreciate the meme. But that doesn’t matter, as things are constantly repurposed anyway. Humour is also an aspect, and as such it belongs to “in groups” only who will share and appreciate the joke. If you don’t get it, you’re not in the group.
  • 22.
  • 23. Argot and Cant Languages • An argot (English: /ˈɑːrɡoʊ/; from French argot [aʁˈɡo] 'slang') is a secret language used by various groups—e.g., schoolmates, outlaws, colleagues, among many others—to prevent outsiders from understanding their conversations. • A cant is the jargon or argot of a group, often employed to exclude or mislead people outside the group.
  • 24. Also has its own celebrities
  • 25.
  • 27.
  • 29. LOL Laugh Out Loud “Sorry to hear about your Grandma, lol”
  • 30.
  • 31. Memes Memes (and Image Macros) & Language
  • 32.
  • 33.
  • 34.
  • 35. tbh bae idgaf Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn •To Be Honest •Bae = baby •I don’t give a F***
  • 36.
  • 37. Written or Textual Prosody Tagg, C. (2015). Exploring digital communication: Language in action. Routledge.
  • 38.
  • 39.
  • 41. Internet Slang Intentional mis-spellings and ungrammatical expressions Evolves constantly and at accelerated speed Written/Spoken language conventions merged Use of fonts, punctuation etc. to add nuance to expressions
  • 42. Collective Identity • Gal, N., Shifman, L., & Kampf, Z. (2016). “It Gets Better”: Internet memes and the construction of collective identity. New Media & Society, 18(8), 1698– 1714. https://doi.org/10.1177/14 61444814568784
  • 43. • different groups, their attitudes, ideologies and interests are represented more clearly and more directly than ever before through the appropriation of popular contents and images • Pavlović, L. M. (2016). Internet memes as a field of discursive construction of identity and space of resistance. AM Časopis za studije umetnosti i medija, (10), 97-106.
  • 44. Nationality, age, sexuality and other aspects of one’s identity can be apparent in Memes. (Phillips, 2015 [talking about online trolls]) Even simply sharing a meme is an act of identity creation because in sharing you are endorsing the meme and displaying your belonging to that particular in-group because you ‘get it’.
  • 47.
  • 49.
  • 50.
  • 51.
  • 52.
  • 53.
  • 54.
  • 55.
  • 56.
  • 57.
  • 58.
  • 59.
  • 60.
  • 61.
  • 62.
  • 63. • Students enjoyed making the memes, but especially sharing them on the class forum with other students • Simple language • Expression of self • Group identity • Motivating (?)
  • 64. Memes and EFL • Harshavardhan, V., Wilson, D., & Kumar, M. V. (2019). Humour discourse in internet memes: An aid in ESL classrooms. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 29(1), 41-53. • Purnama, A. D. (2017). Incorporating memes and instagram to enhance students participation. LLT Journal: A Journal on Language and Language Teaching, 20(1), 1-14. • Romero, E. D., & Bobkina, J. (2017). Teaching visual literacy through memes in the language classroom. The image in English language teaching, 59-70. • Romero, E. D., & Bobkina, J. (2021). Exploring critical and visual literacy needs in digital learning environments: The use of memes in the EFL/ESL university classroom. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 40, 100783.
  • 67. Thank you Full slides and all citations available on my website www.uniliterate.com

Editor's Notes

  1. Get them to do online qnaire as part of class and discuss Get them to maybe look at some examples like in Ursula’s talk Ask them to think about the authenticity of Graded Reader, Text Book, Newspaper etc…. Focus on NSISM and Culrual politics.
  2. What is a meme? What are memes? Bokete
  3. Meme and Gene
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5DOiZ8Y3bs&ab_channel=MarshmallowLaserFeast
  5. The word meme was first coined by Richard Dawkins, in his book The Selfish Gene. He refers to them as ‘self-replicating’ ideas’ or (1976, 255) and ‘self-replicating patterns of information’ (1976, 431). This concept was developed in ‘esoteric forums and message boards, where participants first linked Richard Dawkins’s (1982, 1976) theories of cultural replication to shared in-jokes, catchphrases, and signature texts’ (Milner 2016, 1)
  6. Milner pg 79
  7. Memes often are more like templates with a particular format
  8. Drake meme being a case in point This from Know Your Meme.com The original image is taken from the music video of Drake's 2015 hit R&B single "Hotline Bling", in which the hip hop artist performs several different dance moves and gestures, including one that shows him holding his hand up to the side of his face while looking disgusted (shown below). In January 2016, the usage of Drake's screenshot images from the music video "Hotline Bling" quickly snowballed into a shitpostng trend across various forums on 4chan, including /mu/[3] on January 3rd, /int/[4] (international) on January 5th, /v/[5] (video games) on January 8th, /g/[8] (technology) on January 16th. Between January and March in 2016, the term "drakeposting" was mentioned in hundreds of independently archived discussion threads across 4chan.
  9. ur third meme also comes from a 2013 T.V. drama. "Hanzawa Naoki" centers around an incredibly bad-ass banker called (shockingly) Hanzawa Naoki (!), who works for the largest financial institution in Japan, Tokyo Chuo Bank. The series tracks the challenges and scandals he encounters as he climbs his way up the administrative ranks. His catch-phrase "yararetara yarikaesu, baigaeshi da!" means "If your enemies hurt you, take double the payback!", and as the series progresses and his opposition get more dastardly it becomes "jyuubai gaeshi da!" (10 times the payback), and eventually "hyaku bai gaeshi da!" (take 100 times the payback!).
  10. Special brand of internet humour
  11. Stick out if not speak the right lingo… but if this guy was online he could fit in
  12. Argot and cant are more or less synonyms but argot is more shady, cant is more specific to subcultures and single groups.
  13. The woman in the viral "Disaster Girl" meme has sold the original photograph for $473,000 (£341,000). Zoë Roth, now 21, became an internet hit when she was pictured aged four standing in front of a burning building with a devilish smirk on her face. Zoë Roth sells 'Disaster Girl' meme as NFT for $500,000 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56948514
  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slang CF Argot, etc
  15. Nanna sorry about your grandma LOL story
  16. Circa 2017
  17. Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film, adapted from Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel of the same name CLIP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ5ICXMC4xY&ab_channel=Movieclips
  18. The O RLY meme, featuring a snowy owl photo taken by nature photographer John White, helped popularize the abbreviation 'rly' for the word 'really.' (John White) https://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/pwned-sjw-among-internet-slang-words-added-to-oxforddictionaries-com-1.3205463
  19. I said the latter, the first if Phillips aout trolls.
  20. Neymar world cup 2018
  21. MADE memes and shared in online forum on Moodle After lesson about memes https://moodle.cc.sophia.ac.jp/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=127814
  22. https://moodle.cc.sophia.ac.jp/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=127814
  23. Collected reflective comments in the forum