Benjamin Franklin, Rattlesnakes & Pepe the Frog
Memes in American Politics
Memes—images that spread quickly through large groups—are a central part of internet culture. Not only have they have been instrumental in the rise of social media, they also have had a major influence on American political discourse. According to leading media expert Dr. Joan Donovan, memes mirror the behavior of flags and broadsides of the American Revolution, including Benjamin Franklin's ubiquitous Join or Die engraving and the iconic Gadsden Flag.
Join Revolutionary Spaces for a conversation with Dr. Donovan on her new book, Meme Wars: The Untold Story of the Online Battles Upending Democracy in America. This program will be moderated by Revolutionary Spaces Director of Interpretation & Education Matthew Wilding. Following the discussion, guests can participate in a Q&A with the author, and copies of her book will be available for purchase following the discussion.
This program was originally recorded June 29th, 2023 and was presented free and open to the public thanks to the generous support of The Lowell Institute.