One of the aims of MemeStudies.Org (MSO) is to promote mutual cooperation and development between research networks that focus partly or wholly on meme studies.
The forum and the rest of the platform will be developed as a common pool of scholarly resources for many research networks; each network can focus on their own research within the context of their own (autonomous) networks whilst interfacing with, and contributing to, the commons in one place.
There's a number of research networks that currently exist, of varying degrees of focus on meme studies as the primary subject matter. Here's a partial list:
- Institute of Network Cultures: Est. 2004; a new media research institute which aims "to create sustainable research networks around emerging topics in which a critical contribution can be made." Founded and directed by Geert Lovink.
- Know Your Meme forums: Est. 2007; one of the longest running meme research networks online. Owned and operated by Literally Media (previously by Cheezburger Network).
- The Philosopher's Meme: Est. 2015; a meme research network that developed from a philosophy discussion group and a memepage. Has a strong focus on combining memetic practice with academic research.
- MUSEU de MEMES: Est. 2017; a museum and archive of Portuguese memes. Has a large bibliographic database on memes.
- Open Intelligence Lab (OILab): Est. 2018; "an Amsterdam-based collective of interdisciplinary scholars scrutinising online political subcultures on the fringe and lesser-researched corners of the Web." Has a strong focus on empirical, digital humanities methodologies.
- Bard Meme Lab: Est. 2020; " an interdisciplinary research group focusing on digital memes, online media, and content dissemination." Has a journal called CONTENT.
- TikTok Cultures Research Network: Est. 2020; a "research portal" focused on TikTok, founded by a variety of qualitative researchers, with a focus on Asia-Pacific perspectives. Currently developing a bibliography of TikTok research.
- Meme Studies Research Network: Est. 2020; an international, interdisciplinary meme studies research network. Currently developing a canonical reading list of meme studies research (MemeStudies Wiki page).
- Do Not Research: Est. 2020. A cyberculture research network developed by Joshua Citarella's Patreon supporter community.
- Discord Academic Research Community: Est. 2022; "an inclusive and supportive network for anyone researching Discord and Discord-related communities, platforms, or cultures."
Let me know if there's other research networks not listed above. I think we could also develop a guide on how to set up your own research network in a way that allows them to do good research and also interface fluently with other research networks as well.
There's an endless amount of meme research to be done, and no one research network can possibly handle all of it!