This is the "Memes" page of the "Popular Culture in the Classroom" guide.
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Popular Culture in the Classroom  

A guide to help incorporate popular culture into classroom curriculum.
Last Updated: Nov 19, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Locating information on memes can be a challenge because of the multitude of ways memes are talked about in scholarly literature. These search terms provide a starting point in the research process.

  • Cultural Transmission
  • Replication
  • Internet Memes
  • Memes
  • Memetics
  • Mind Viruses
  • Resource
  • Thought Contagion
  • Viral Culture


This list provides an overview of both well known and lesser known memes. It is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to be a starting point.  

Know Your Meme is a website dedicated to documenting Internet phenomena: viral videos, image macros, catchphrases, web celebs and more. is the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.

Memebase is a large clearinghouse of meme replication and mutation. 



  • An Internet meme (/ˈmiːm/ MEEM) is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet. –taken from Wikipedia
  • The term was first introduced by  British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976)  
  • Memes are an excellent way to engage students, especially international students whose knowledge of popular culture may differ from their American counterparts. Utilizing popular culture developed and transmitted on the Internet can decrease the gap between students from different cultures. 
  • While most memes are designed for humor, they can also be used to make a pointed social / cultural critique.



       (Cat Meme)                        (Political Meme)                     (Jokester Meme)


Curious how memes are replicated and transmitted? Check out this helpful video by BrainStuff.



This list, although not meant to be exhaustive, will get you started researching memes.

de Seta, Gabriele. "Memes In Digital Culture." New Media & Society 17.3 (2015): 476-478.

Harlow, Summer. "It Was A "Facebook Revolution": Exploring The Meme-Like Spread Of Narratives During The Egyptian Protests." Revista De Comunicación 12.(2013): 59-82.

Nooney, Laine, and Laura Portwood-Stacer. "One Does Not Simply: An Introduction To The Special Issue On Internet Memes." Journal Of Visual Culture 13.3 (2014): 248-252.

Shifman, Limor. "The Cultural Logic Of Photo-Based Meme Genres." Journal Of Visual Culture 13.3 (2014): 340-358.

Silvestri, Lisa. "Memes In Digital Culture , By Limor Schifman." Popular Communication 12.3 (2014): 198-200.

Vickery, Jacqueline Ryan. "The Curious Case Of Confession Bear: The Reappropriation Of Online Macro-Image Memes." Information, Communication & Society 17.3 (2014): 301-325.

Zittrain, Jonathan L. "Reflections On Internet Culture." Journal Of Visual Culture 13.3 (2014): 388-394.


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