Skill, Practice, Performance
Edited By András Benedek and Kristof Nyiri
Promiscuity of Images. Memes from an English-Hungarian Contrastive Perspective. Ágnes Veszelszki
Promiscuity of Images Memes from an English-Hungarian Contrastive Perspective Ágnes Veszelszki 1. Overview In my chapter published in the volume The Iconic Turn in Education I took ac- count of three forms of connections between images and texts, and tried to de- scribe emoticons from various aspects.1 This paper can be considered as a possi- ble extension of the topic as it deals with internet memes which may be regarded as blends of images and texts. First, I will give a brief introduction to Dawkins’ meme theory (or memet- ics) and then say a few words about the theory enhanced and/or modified by the philosopher Dennett and the psychologist Dan Sperber. I will also attempt to ex- plain why funny pictures and their mutations going viral on the internet are in- creasingly considered as memes, or in other words: to what extent these pictures correspond to the criteria of the meme theory of Dawkins and Dennett. The second part of the presentation will analyse memes as case studies: the most famous meme characters, and two meme series relating to sports events in 2012. 2. Memetics Meme theory is grounded on evolutionary biology. According to one of its prin- ciples, evolution is the result of variability (the continuous expansion of differ- ent elements); heredity/replication (the ability of such elements to copy them- selves); different suitability (the copies are determined by the characteristics of the element and its environment together).2 Dawkins believes that the new- fangled replicators are ideas. These complex...
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