Contemporary history of Europe

Keep Calm and Stay Focused: Historicising and Intertwining Scales and Temporalities of Online Virality

After explaining why spatialities and temporalities, as well as platforms,matter in the historicization of virality, this chapter takes the Harlem Shake as acase study to demonstrate how a scalable and medium reading may allow to recon-struct past virality. It discusses the challenges of flow and circulations of memes,the sources and tools that may be used to renew an approach that may benefitfrom a contextualization, which is not only dedicated to content and to a semioticapproach, but also to the containers, the communities and stakeholders involved inthese flexible and deeply adaptable phenomena. By intertwining sources from thelive and archived web, by crossing corpora, based on the press, the archived weband social networks (Twitter in this case), the authors enlighten the complexity atstake in the reconstruction of past virality.

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