Degree Name





Fine Arts and Communications

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Scott Church

First Faculty Reader

Michael Kelly

Honors Coordinator

Tom Robinson


internet, funny, languages, cultures, globalization, global


This thesis explores trends in the types of humor used by Russian and English speakers in the creation and perpetuation of internet memes. The purpose of this project is to better understand the impact of the globalizing effects of the internet on social identity. Most current scholarship addressing the effects of memes on social communication and research into the specific trends of humor on the internet, focuses on the meme culture of English-speakers. Some researchers have focused on analyzing meme use in other countries, but they have not compared American and Russian humor.

This project demonstrates how patterns of pastiche, pessimism and absurdism exist in the ways that Russian and English speakers use humor on the internet. Both groups regularly exhibit similar trends of pessimism and pastiche, while the types of absurd humor differ from group to group. English absurdism is often intentionally taken to the extremes of logic and understanding, where absurdity is not meant to hold any kind of meaning that can be universally understood, while even the most absurd memes of the Russian-speaking internet seem more connected to a more grounded, literal meaning of the words and pictures used.


Included in

Communication Commons