Scholars Take Web Humor Seriously

Gabriella Coleman, assistant professor in the NYU Steinhardt Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, was one of the scholars featured in The New York Times Magazine article When Funny Goes Viral, by Rob Walker.

The article covers ROFLCon II, a conference held at MIT in spring exploring online humor. Participants considered the cultural and economic significance of Internet entertainment. In particular, Coleman researches the ethics and practices of hackers.

Media scholars are in the process of building a body of knowledge pertaining to Internet culture, including content that might otherwise be disregarded such as Internet memes. They note the shift to active content production versus passive content consumption, and offer a framework for thinking about the influence of new technology on individuals and society.