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Research interests

My research broadly aims to develop a conceptual and analytical framework for a critical political theory of internet memes that can provide a general foundation for how we can understand memes as novel sites for global political engagement. It provides an analysis of memes as a virtual space of political possibility through the spatial analysis of what it calls “the memescape”. Using Deleuze and Guattari’s oppositional notions of the smooth and striated spaces, it explores the conflictual and interactive relationship between the memescape as a smooth space of mobility versus the “international” as a striated space of fixed, bordered world-making. I conceptualise the memescape as a smooth space of discursive, aesthetic and affective circulation of humorous, pop cultural and “seriously non-serious” digital material that makes possible various modes of political becoming – resistant, reactionary, disciplinary and excessive. Through an analysis of how memes intervene into and complicate the political configurations of three structures underlying the “international” – race, the state and capital -, I explore how these various political possibilities become actualised in the everyday production and circulation of digital humorous content. Here, I do not approach memes just as artefacts but as constitutive of a larger site of interaction that includes practices, relationalities and subjectivities. Internet memes, through disparate processes of subjectification, production, circulation and interruption negotiate, stretch and re-configure the limits and possibilities of the international and the political as they are entangled within complex relations of power and domination. It is my aim, in this thesis, to articulate and imagine an ethics of memetic resistance through a critical analysis of these limits and possibilities.

Education/Academic qualification

London School of Economics and Political Science

20182019

King's College London

20142017

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • SPAIS Global Insecurities Centre

Keywords

  • internet memes
  • pop culture
  • world politics
  • critical theory
  • resistance
  • reaction
  • space
  • humour

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