VIRAL seminar - programme

Luxembourg (14.10.2021 - 31.5.2022), 14. October 2021.

During the 2021-2022 academic year, the VIRAL seminar will focus on the many ways we may think about online virality and analyse the circulation of born-digital content. Virality, information circulation and content sharing always involve a heterogeneous arrangement of material, practical and discursive elements. These elements might include signs that may be replicated and/or evolve and transform, technical infrastructures and platforms with various constraints, social groups that (re)define themselves constantly, content moderation policies, and affects or emotions (fears, humor, empathies, hatreds...).

The seminar will offer an interdisciplinary overview of these elements, circulations and digital traces. It will include three main presentation types: analysis of corpora, methodological considerations, and historical or socio-technical approaches.

The seminar will take place approximately once a month, and all eight sessions (in French or English) will be held from 17:00 to 18:30 (Paris time).

You can find the abstracts of the presentations at:

If you would like to register for one or more sessions, please email

The VIRAL seminar is organised by Fred Pailler and Valérie Schafer at the C²DH (University of Luxembourg). It is part of the HIVI research project about the history of online virality (, funded by the FNR – C20/SC/14758148).


+ Thursday 14 October 2021 /
  presentation: Camille Alloing (Univ. du Québec à Montréal) & Alexandre Coutant (Univ. du Québec à Montréal)
  De Barnum à Jay-Z: représentations et pratiques de la viralité au sein des professions de l'influence
    discussant: Lars Wieneke (Univ. of Luxembourg)

+ Tuesday 9 November 2021 /
  presentation: Albin Wagener (Assoc. Researcher, PREFICS – Univ. Rennes 2):
  Mèmes, humour et politique
    discussant: Valérie Schafer (Univ. of Luxembourg)

+ Thursday 16 December 2021 /
  presentation: Nicholas John (Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem):
  The evolution of unfriending
    discussant: Niels Brügger (Univ. of Aarhus)

+ Tuesday 15 February 2022 /
  presentation: Pascal Froissart (Sorbonne Université):
  La lutte contre les rumeurs, un nouveau paradigme. Guerre mondiale et sciences sociales
    discussant: Benjamin Thierry (Sorbonne Université)

+ Friday 11 March 2022 /

  presentation: Biella Coleman (McGill University):
  From Busting Cults to Breeding Cults: Anonymous Hacktivism vs. QAnon
    discussant: Antonio A. Casilli (Télécom Paris)

+ Thursday 24 March 2022 /
  presentation: Anne Helmond (Univ. of Amsterdam):
  Digital methods for studying spreadability: The dissemination of commenting systems on the web
    discussant: Jane Winters (School of Advanced Study, Univ. of London)

+ Tuesday 12 April 2022 /
  presentation: Laurence Allard (Univ. de Lille):
  Quand le mème devient rare: ce que nous dit la tokenisation de la culture numérique en temps critique
    discussant: Frédéric Clavert (Univ. of Luxembourg)

+ Tuesday 31 May 2022 /
  presentation: Virginie Julliard (Sorbonne Université):
  Communauté politique, communauté sémiotique. Ce que la circulation des images révèle de la structuration de la mobilisation anti genre sur Twitter
    discussant: Fred Pailler (Univ. of Luxembourg)