Coronavirus Goes Viral: How Online Meme Culture Reflects Our Shared Experience Of A Global Pandemic

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  • Andre Brock Andre Brock

André Brock, associate professor in the School of Literature, Media and Communication, was interviewed on the Georgia Public Broadcasting program "On Second Thought" on March 20, 2020.

Brock, whose work has examined the online meme culture of the African American community, such as the "Black Twitter" phenomenon, spoke to the connective power of the internet in a time of mandated physical distancing between people.


Memes tend to draw upon shared cultural commonplaces. And for a large part of it, they draw on shared networks. So it's a group of people, your friends and your family, or usually a group of people who will understand where your humor is coming from. And in return, their friends and family will have maybe not the same understanding, but a similar one. Where memes become huge and become immensely taken up is when that initial content actually turns out to be relatable to many more people than their original user could have even imagined. While there are many deliberate memes, I find that many memes which were not as deliberate have somehow become also influential in helping people understand how to deal with this virus. 

Listen and read highlights from the program here.

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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, School of Literature, Media, and Communication

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School of Literature Media and Communication, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
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  • Created On: Mar 31, 2020 - 2:47pm
  • Last Updated: Mar 31, 2020 - 2:47pm