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The Civic Potential of Memes

How do young people perceive memes and hashtags as civic tools, and how do these perceptions influence their critique and creation of memes and hashtags as means for civic expression?

Join us for a discussion of the role of memes in the lives of young people. In this webinar, we read and discuss a paper recently published by Paul Mihailidis, entitled, "The Civic Potential of Memes and Hashtags in the Lives of Young People."  In an analysis of the impact of the Emerging Citizens Toolkit, Mihailidis found that students create memes to express civic negativity, playful resistance and reluctant engagement. Because meme culture is a global phenomenon, we explore the role of memes and meme-making with a dialogue with global experts in media literacy and media education. 

DATE: Monday, July 13


LOCATION: Online. 

Check out the slides we created together in our small group discussions!


Paul Mihailidis is Associate Professor at Emerson College in Boston. His research explores the nexus of media literacies, community activism and engagement in civic life. He is Faculty Chair and Director of the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, a program that annually gathers scholars and students from around the world to investigate media and global citizenship.

Nicoleta Fotiade is the President of Mediawise Society, a media education and research center based in Bucharest. 

Silke Grafe is a Professor at the University of Wurzburg (Germany) in the Department of Educational Sciences. She is an expert on digital and media literacy and online learning. 

Igor KaniŇĺaj¬†is Associate¬†Professor at the University of Zagreb, Journalism Department at the Faculty of Political Science and vice president of the Association for Communication and Media Culture (, and

Bert Pieters is responsible for training and developing practice at Mediawijs, the Flemish Knowledge Centre for Digital and Media Literacy, an initiative of the Flemish Minister for Media. They help the citizens of the Flemish community in Belgium to use digital technology and media actively, creatively, critically and consciously to participate in society.