Clog report: UC Berkeley announces new ‘meme studies department’ for fall 2018

sproul_zainabali_file
Zainab Ali/File

UC Berkeley has always been at the forefront of innovation. We’ve never been an institution to shy away from doing the difficult thing in order to be at the cutting edge of education, so it will come to the shock of no one that this past Monday, UC Berkeley announced that a new department of meme studies will begin operations in the fall of 2018. The Clog was granted an exclusive interview with the director of the budding department, professor M.L. Below is the transcript of that interview, lightly edited for clarity and grammar

The Clog: Thank you for meeting with me, professor M.L.

Professor M.L.: I would actually prefer if you referred to me by my full name: Meme Lord.

The Clog: Your actual name is Meme Lord?

Meme Lord: No, Meme Lord was a name I chose for myself because I feel it more accurately represents who I am, much like how memes are an abstract representation of our thoughts and feelings.

The Clog: Fair enough. I will start with the obvious question: What is meme studies?

Meme Lord: Meme studies is the study of a very specific type of expression. Memes are quickly becoming a foundation upon which adolescents are building their relationships. The campus and I believe that studying the mechanisms by which we come to construct, and in some cases deconstruct, such seemingly simple images is key to understanding the nuances of adolescent communication.

The Clog: What sets meme studies apart from, say, media studies?

Meme Lord: Like I said,media studies is a very specific type of communication, and in that sense, I suppose you could argue that media studies falls under the umbrella of communications. And in regards to how it contrasts with media studies, a degree in media studies is more likely to get you a job.   

The Clog: Why do you say that?

Meme Lord: Memes are the future. I guarantee that within the next decade, memes will be how big corporations do most of their advertising. Memes will determine elections and changes in the economy and the general social and emotional well-being of our youth. Whoever masters “memery” will master the world.

The Clog: That is a bold claim. Do you have any evidence to back it?

Meme Lord: I am currently heading a research team devoted to understanding how the memes we consume influence our decisions. I am not at liberty to disclose our findings just yet, but I’ll just say that students who spend comparatively more time on meme pages are predisposed to greater financial success in the future, not to mention an increase in quality of life.

The full version of our interview with Meme Lord will be released this weekend. Tune in to learn more about Meme Lord’s opinion on the state of abstract meme-ism and of course, to find out his favorite meme. And consider signing up in the fall for one of his lectures: MEME 10: “Pepe, Dat Boi, and Kermit: Frogs as a Symbol of Vulnerability”; MEME 20: “aN inTrODucTioN tO SpOngEBob ThEOrY”; or MEME 64 “Jokes about Dying.”   

Contact Edrick Sabalburo at [email protected].