Take free online memes courses and learn about everything meme-related on edX.
What are memes?
Internet memes are an idea, behavior, style, reaction, or other event spread through the internet. With social media like TikTok or Facebook, blog platforms like Tumblr, and even email, successful memes spread quickly.
Memes spread cultural information and pop culture or subcultures. The best memes provide instant communication of a universal feeling or belief, drawing in other followers and spreading the movement.
A picture is worth a thousand words, cliche but a truth about cultural transmissions. Memes evolve over time and can vary based on culture and context. Overall, they're quickly consumable pieces of media designed to entertain and spread a message.
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the term in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, but it's taken on a life of its own. Susan Blackmore put forward memetics, the study of meme culture, in her book The Meme Machine. Although certain meme crazes come and go, the use of memes itself is no longer a fad.
Learn about memes
The edX platform offers the opportunity to study a wide range of topics, including memes. Courses are designed in partnership with leading thinkers and institutions in the field of cultural studies, design, and behavior.
Courses are available for free to explore casually, but learners may also explore accredited courses for official credit for a fee. edX offers not only standalone courses but also certificate courses and degrees. Participants study with a global cohort of other students and learn from experts in the field.
Davidson offers a course called How to Do Things With Memes. The mini-course explores what makes memes relatable and humorous, how new memes spread, and how students can create their own memes using static images, gifs, and even video. Learners will understand the history of memes and their place in internet culture.
Students can also study the environment that makes memes possible. CurtinX offers a course on social media called Social Media: How Media Got Social, exploring the cultural evolution brought on by our favorite social media platforms. The course explores how social media hooks internet users and keeps them coming back.
Using Memes to Communicate
From grumpy cat to overly attached girlfriend and everything in between, memes are an integral part of the internet. Meme templates allow fast transmission of new memes and easy replication. edX offers the chance to explore the concept of memes from a research perspective, which could give you a brand new appreciation for the next cat meme you see. Take advantage of the edX platform to study, no matter what the subject.