Image-macro memes are highly dynamic multimodal compositions that propagate online, mostly for humorous purposes. Yet, despite their increasing popularity and transformation into an important part of human community and social life, and notwithstanding the expansion of their areas of application, this novel mainstream phenomenon still deserves more recognition from scholars. This chapter focuses on the processes of creation and self-translation of memes by exploring the strategies of textualization and re-textualization that were activated by a number of undergraduate students from the University of Salento, Italy. This case study is divided into two main phases. In the first phase, participants were asked to create memes for Italian receivers, trying to provoke laughter through culture-bound stereotypes; in phase two, their productions had to be re-elaborated and reformulated to become accessible to international viewers. The comparison between the original versions and their resemiotisations will shed light on the reasons that led subjects to change the visual and/or verbal dimensions of their memes. The analysis will investigate to what extent modifications are meant to adapt the original oppositions between ‘possible/impossible’ or ‘normal/violation’ cognitive scripts, as well as the original representations of culture-bound pop icons. Finally, the examination of the multimodal re-arrangements will also inform a discussion on the influence of the cognitive construct of ‘implied receivers’ on the selection of the language and images that are expected to convey the senders’ intentionality through the hybrid texts under discussion.

Multimodal strategies of creation and self-translation of humorous discourse in image-macro memes

Pietro Luigi Iaia
2022

Abstract

Image-macro memes are highly dynamic multimodal compositions that propagate online, mostly for humorous purposes. Yet, despite their increasing popularity and transformation into an important part of human community and social life, and notwithstanding the expansion of their areas of application, this novel mainstream phenomenon still deserves more recognition from scholars. This chapter focuses on the processes of creation and self-translation of memes by exploring the strategies of textualization and re-textualization that were activated by a number of undergraduate students from the University of Salento, Italy. This case study is divided into two main phases. In the first phase, participants were asked to create memes for Italian receivers, trying to provoke laughter through culture-bound stereotypes; in phase two, their productions had to be re-elaborated and reformulated to become accessible to international viewers. The comparison between the original versions and their resemiotisations will shed light on the reasons that led subjects to change the visual and/or verbal dimensions of their memes. The analysis will investigate to what extent modifications are meant to adapt the original oppositions between ‘possible/impossible’ or ‘normal/violation’ cognitive scripts, as well as the original representations of culture-bound pop icons. Finally, the examination of the multimodal re-arrangements will also inform a discussion on the influence of the cognitive construct of ‘implied receivers’ on the selection of the language and images that are expected to convey the senders’ intentionality through the hybrid texts under discussion.
9789027211613
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/473924
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