Polyvocal Digital Discourse: A Review of Shifman’s Memes in Digital Culture


The term Internet meme conjures images of strangers and friends “planking,” remaking “Gangnam Style,” and participating in Occupy Wall Street’s “We are the 99 Percent.” Many debate whether these seemingly trivial digital memes are deserving of serious academic attention. Memes in Digital Culture, written by Limor Shifman and published as part of the MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series in 2014, examines this up-to-date topic that may not have received as much thoughtful attention as it should. Similar to “researchers such as Michele Knobel, Colin Lankshear, Lance Bennett, Ryan Milner, and Jean Burgess” Shifman advocates for practical studies of memes (6). With the recent publication of a special issue of the Journal of Visual Culture on Internet Memes in December 2014, this topic is clearly gaining validity in academic discourses and Shifman is a serious contributor to research on communicative dimensions of Internet memes (Nooney and Portwood-Stacer 251).

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