If Oscar Wilde were still around today, he would have something perfectly scathing to say about memes. But while the viral images that clog our feeds may be considered the lowest form of culture, they aren’t totally dissimilar from Wilde’s own aphorisms. Both thrive on wit and concision, while revealing truths we’re loathe to admit. Over the past decade, academics have been taking the world of memes more seriously via the study of digital folklore. The practice takes an anthropologist’s This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Eight Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 49 Karin Mamma Andersson Inside the moody, mysterious world of Sweden’s preeminent painter. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Mass Destruction “Artists are often left baffled by the fact that they have millions of monthly streams, yet only a couple of thousand followers on social media.” Arts & Culture Issue 49 On the Cheap The greatness of cultural worsts. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Signal Boost How status anxiety drives culture. Arts & Culture Issue 36 Designated Drudgery How to take a load off. Arts & Culture Issue 30 Knowing Me, Knowing You Think twice before seeking out your doppelgänger.