memetics comps exam list--pop culture, advertising, rhetoric & composition

From: Stephanie Vie (
Date: Wed 01 Oct 2003 - 15:18:23 GMT

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    I tried sending this once but I don't think it went through. Apologies if this is being sent twice!

    >Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 07:36:41 -0700
    >From: Stephanie Vie <>
    >Subject: memetics comps exam list--pop culture, advertising, rhetoric &
    >I've just recently joined this list. I am studying for my comprehensive
    >exams for a PhD in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English. One
    >of my areas is memetic theory. I am looking for bibliographic references
    >that have to do with the intersection of pop culture,
    >advertising/propaganda, rhetoric & composition, and fiction with memetic
    >theory (fun to read and/or available at my library or online is good...)
    >Could anyone take a look at what I've got so far and maybe make
    >suggestions? I'd be forever indebted! Thanks :)
    >Stephanie Vie
    >You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension and
    >discipline are taken out of your life.
    >- James G. Bilkey

    Part III. Memetic Theory as a Analytical Framework [15 books, 15 articles]

    Memetic theory has been applied outside of the field of rhetoric and composition to explain social change and adaptation, particularly in analysis of computer viruses and media/advertising. However, little attention to memetics has been paid in our field historically, leaving it as a theoretical framework rich for application to the current adaptation and use of technology in the writing classroom. As we shift from a more traditional writing classroom to hybridized classrooms utilizing technologies and virtual spaces, we must look critically at the reasoning behind adopting particular technologies and their potential effects on the instructor, students, and classroom. The texts on this list offer background reading in memetic theory (Aunger, Blackmore, Dawkins) as well as connections and intersections between memetic theory and advertising/media studies (Ellul), computer technology (Friedman, Johnson-Eilola, Postman), fiction (Burroughs, Stephenson), and sociocultural behavior (Balkin, Brodie, Hill, Lynch, Paicheler).

      Some of the questions I pose in this list are:

    · How do I define memetic theory as well as the concept of a meme?

    · What is the history of memetic theory?

    · How has memetic theory been used as a theoretical framework outside of rhetoric and composition? Particularly, how has memetic theory been used in: pop culture (i.e. fiction), analysis of computer viruses, and analysis of media and/or advertising?

    · How can memetic theory be applied to the intersection of technology and pedagogy in writing instruction?

      Aunger, Robert, ed. Darwinizing Culture: The Status of Memetics as a Science. New York: Oxford UP, 2000.

    Balkin, J. M. Cultural Software: A Theory of Ideology. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 1998.

    Blackmore, Susan. The Meme Machine. New York: Oxford UP, 1999.

    Brodie, Richard. Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme. Seattle: Integral Press, 1996.

      Burroughs, William S. The Ticket that Exploded. New York: Grove Press, 1967.

    Castelfranchi, Cristiano. Towards a Cognitive Memetics: Socio-Cognitive Mechanisms for Memes Selection and Spreading.Journal of Memetics: Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission 5.1 (2001): page #s.

      Clark, S. R. L. Minds, Memes and Rhetoric.Inquiry 36 (1993): 3-16.

    Dawkins, Richard. The Selfish Gene. New York: Oxford UP, 1999.

    ---. Viruses of the Mind.Free Inquiry 13.3 (1993): 34-41.

    Dennett, Daniel C. Memes and the Exploitation of Imagination.Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 48 (1990): 127-35.

    Dixon, Kathleen. Making and Taking Apart Culturein the (Writing) Classroom.Left Margins: Cultural Studies and Composition Pedagogy. Albany, NY: State U of New York P, 1995: 99-114.

    Du Preez, Peter. The Evolution of Altruism.Political Psychology 17.3
    (1996): 563-567.

      Ellul, Jacques. Propaganda: The Formation of Mens Attitudes. New York: Vintage Books, 1973.

      Friedman, Matthew. Fuzzy Logic: Dispatches from the Information Revolution. Montréal: Véhicule Press, 1997.

    Gatherer, Derek. Why the Thought ContagionMetaphor is Retarding the Progress of Memetics.Journal of Memetics: Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission 2.2 (1998): page #s.

      Heylighen, Francis. Selfish Memes and the Evolution of Cooperation.Journal of Ideas 2.4 (1992): 77-84.

    Hill, Michael W. The Impact of Information on Society: An Examination of its Nature, Value, and Usage. London: Bowker Saur, 1999.

      Johnson-Eilola, Johndan. Wild Technologies: Computer Use and Social Possibility.Computers and Technical Communication: Pedagogical and Programmatic Perspectives. Stuart Selber, ed. Greenwich, CT: Ablex, 1997: 97-128.

    Lynch, Aaron. Thought Contagion: How Belief Spreads Through Society. New York: Basic Books, 1996.

    Paicheler, Geneviéve. The Psychology of Social Influence. New York: Oxford UP, 1988.

      Patterson, M.L. Accelerating Innovation: A Dip into the Meme Pool.National Productivity Review 19.4 (1990): 53-58.

    Postman, Neil. The Ideology of Machines: Computer Technology.Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. New York: Knopf, 1992: 107-122.

    Sloop, John M. and Mark Olson. Cultural Struggle: A Politics of Meaning in Rhetorical Studies.At the Intersection: Cultural Studies and Rhetorical Studies. New York: Guilford, 1999.

    Stephenson, Neal. Snow Crash. New York: Bantam Books, 1992. [PS3569.T3868]

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