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Saturday, March 8 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
The LOLs of Nations: Understanding Global Memes

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Global memes add snark and commentary to politics. Memes have helped citizens around the world express political support and dissent: from the meme that helped a cat run for office in Mexico, to the goats that parodied Obama’s visit to Uganda, to the Myanmar kitten that people used to protest the cost of cellphone service. And sometimes memes are used BY a government against dissent, as is the case in Azerbaijan.
Many memes stay within their culture, but advice animals, lolcats, and rage comics often get repurposed in surprising ways outside their origin.
What are the barriers for cross cultural memes to spread, and what is special about the ones that do? How are goat and cat memes an easier mechanism for people to begin to engage with international politics in an attempt to understand the LOLs?

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avatar for Elena Agapie

Elena Agapie

ResearcherMicrosoft ResearchElena Agapie is a researcher in Human Computer Interaction. Elena received a Masters in Computer Science from Harvard University in 2013. She researches how we can enhance user interfaces to encourage better user behavior. Elena is particularly interested... Read More →
avatar for Katy Pearce

Katy Pearce

Asst ProfUniversity of WashingtonKaty E. Pearce is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. She researches social and political uses of technologies and digital content in non-democratic contexts, specifically in the semi- and fully-authoritarian... Read More →

Saturday March 8, 2014 11:00am - 12:00pm CST
Austin Convention Center, Room 10AB

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