Digital Europeanism and extending the literary Europeanist discourse: The Twitter feeds of @PulseofEurope and @mycountryeurope


Fergal Lenehan , Roman Lietz

Year: 2023

Journal of European StudiesVolume 53, Issue 2, June 2023, Pages 153-178

Keywords: Digital Europeanism
Language(s): English

This article argues that the study of literary Europeanism should be extended to the discourse of wider textual Europeanism, understood here as a digital Europeanism that examines digital texts, in the widest sense, contextualised within the norms of digital culture. The texts emanating on the platform Twitter from two explicitly pro-European/pro-European Union accounts, one German-language and one largely (non-native) anglophone – @PulseofEurope and @mycountryeurope – were examined from 9 May 2021 to 9 November 2021. In evidence was a type of textual Europeanism that indeed owes a degree of coherence to the norms of digital culture. This was seen in relation to referentiality, that is, the use of already existing and circulating cultural materials for one’s own cultural production. This was evident in commented and uncommented retweets, social TV practices and the Europeanisation of Internet memes. The creation of a sense of communality – the way in which meanings can be stabilised, options for action generated and resources made accessible via a collectively supported frame of reference – is also in evidence and to be seen in the distinct discursive creation of an authoritarian ‘other’. This ‘other’ consists of a temporal ‘other’ – a small number of tweets relating to authoritarianisms of the past; an inner-European Union ‘other’ – tweets relating to movements towards authoritarianism within the European Union, especially in Hungary and Poland; and an external European Union other – tweets relating to authoritarianism on the European Union’s borders, especially in Belarus and Russia.

Post created by: Fergal Lenehan

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