So we did the meme thing in class.
As I discussed last week, I wanted to check whether it did really bring anything to the discussion, given my doubts.
And it did. Just not what I thought it would.
I’d asked students in the lecture to drop memes into the collaborative document, on the theme of “the EU as it was, the EU as it is.” (not the most meme-y title, but whatever).
From what we got, I can tell you a number of things.
Firstly, most students clearly just googled “EU meme” to see what they could find, rather than making their own memes. Perhaps that’s a refinement to consider, using something like this.
Secondly, most of my students aren’t that well disposed to the EU.
Thirdly, the EU isn’t the subject of much meme-making.
And fourthly, most of those memes are about the EU banning memes.
We talked about this last point the most, mainly because there was a long struggle on their part to consider the most logical reason for why, despite the EU banning memes, we were a) able to find lots of memes, and b) I was allowed to run a session in class about memes.
If you’ve not worked it out, I’ll leave it to you to go and check (hint: look for news sources that talk about what happened, rather than what might happen).
Any way, it became a good opportunity to talk about being a rigorous researcher and sense-checking what you find. That’s not a point just about the EU, but about everything you study.
The jury is still out on using memes like this, but it was good to have this discussion. My concern is whether we might have it again.