As described in a perspective published on the American Historical Association site “Remote Reflection: A Call For Memes”, Sarah Olzawski describes how the history department at the University of Oklahoma successfully gained interest and spread humor though a call via twitter for memes that included historical references but provided commentary on the COVID-19 time.
The department’s Twitter account, @OUHistDept, quickly emerged as one of the best tools I had to sustain our community through social distancing. While not all students use this platform, the account reaches approximately one-third of our current students. I began the account in August 2016 but did not reach 1,000 followers until December 2019. During that time, I worked diligently to observe students on Twitter: I listened to their perspectives, paid attention to what was important to them, and learned how they used Twitter. I took a cue from what advising professionals call “intrusive advising” and began following as many of our students as I could find. Over time, I established a rapport with our students through direct engagement, usually in a playful or humorous tone. Rather than using the account as a tool for department announcements, I strived to make our voice interactive and fun. Unsolicited, students who weren’t even majors began telling me that people on campus were talking about the account.
When COVID closed campus, our funny and insightful students continued to discuss “these uncertain times” on Twitter. At the end of March, an idea came to me: the department’s Twitter should send out a call for memes
Location: University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA
More Information: https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/summer-2020/remote-reflections-a-call-for-memes