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Memes, emotions and why things go viral

Lecture by Dr Anastasia Denisova, Senior Lecturer in Journalism, School of Media, Arts & Design, University of Westminster 

Social media have overtaken traditional media outlets when it comes to rapid news sharing, quick analysis and emotional reactions. Ephemeral digital artefacts such as memes, gifs, emoji have impacted the way we talk about events and even take action. 

In this talk, Dr Denisova looks at four main functions of memes in the digital space, from activism to "fast-food media". 

She also explains the primal emotional reactions that make us engage with viral sharing. Main triggers are exposed. The benefits and risks of viral cultures are discussed. 

Dr Anastasia Denisova has been researching viral cultures for over a decade. She published a book, Internet Memes and Society (2019), a brand new research article on viral journalism (2022), among a dozen other peer-reviewed articles on social media sharing. 

Her three areas of expertise are memes, viral cultures, and fashion media and climate change. She has recently released a policy brief Fashion Media and Sustainability (2021).

Dr Anastasia Denisova is a Fellow of Higher Education Academy and board member of Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 


Exploring the In-Between


Exploring the In-Between: 
Haunting Ghosts, Fantasies, Emotions, Memory and Memes 

Transition marks a state which is always incomplete, stretched between different ends, suspended like a restless spectral figure. 

However, such a state is also one where the dice have not yet rolled, where surprise still has a chance to overwhelm our expectations. To think within the "in-between" thus also renders possible a renewed appreciation of ambiguity and indecision and, perhaps, offers a space to form unanticipated apertures.

Free entrance