I love it when topics I’m learning about overlap in multiple classes, for example: memes. In my digital studies class we talked about the spread and creation of memes, and in my rhetorical criticisms class we talked about their origin and purpose. In digital studies 101 digital ethics are discussed and debated nearly every class. When it comes to memes we debated whether or not it is ethical to use someone else’s image as a reaction and include text that they did not approve of. My stance is that it depends on whether or not this meme will tarnish the subject’s digital identity and if the answer is yes, then I believe it is unethical.
In rhetorical criticism we discussed the origin of the meme and their rhetorical purpose. Meme is derived from “enthymeme” which is a rhetorical syllogism without a stated premise used in oratorical practice. Since the premise is not clearly stated, the audience is invited to fill in the blank between what they see and what the visual means. If the audience is not familiar with the visual cues than they are not apart of the in-group formed and therefore do not understand the joke. It was very interesting to talk about memes in an informal as well as formal manner in two of my classes simultaneously. Check in soon to see more overlapping topics my professors cover!