Prof. Limor Shifman

Vice Dean for Academic Matters in the Faculty of Social Sciences 

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Academic Background and Fields of Interest

Limor Shifman (Ph.D., 2005) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism, and a former research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. She specializes in new media, popular culture and the social construction of humor. Among the phenomena she has studied are online humor and gender, the global spread and translation of online 'joke memes', and the evolution of new forms of Web-based humor. At the Hebrew University, Dr. Shifman teaches courses on mass communication theory, popular culture and the internet, political satire in the digital age and Internet-based humor

Her current research projects focus on:

1. Memes and the Internet: Tracing cultural transmission

2. Internet humor and globalization

3. Internet humor and the construction of Israeli Identity

Selected publications:

  • Boxman‐Shabtai, L., & Shifman, L. (2014). Evasive Targets: Deciphering Polysemy in Mediated Humor. Journal of Communication, 64(5), 977-998

  • Shifman, Limor. (2013). Memes in digital culture. MIT Press

  • Shifman, Limor, Levy, H. and Thelwall, Mike (forhtconing). Internet jokes: The secret agents of globalization? Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. Early view:

  • Boxman-Shabtai, Lillian and Shifman, Limor (forthcoming). When ethnic humor goes digital. New Media and Society. Early View:

  • Shifman, Limor (2013). Memes in a Digital World: Reconciling with a Conceptual Troublemaker. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 18: 362-377.

  • Shifman, Limor (2012). Satire in the Holy-Wonderland: The Comic Framing of Arab Leaders in Israel. Popular Communication, 10(1-2), 94-105. (Special issue: Not Necessarily the News? Global Approaches to News Parody and Political Satire. Edited by Geoffrey Baym and Jeffrey P. Jones).

  • Shifman, Limor (2012). An anatomy of a YouTube meme. New Media and Society, 14(2): 187-203.

  • Shifman, L. (2008). Televised Humor and Social Cleavages in Israel, 1968-2000. Jerusalem: Hebrew University Magnes Press (Hebrew).

  • Shifman, L. & Lemish, D.  (2011). Mars and Venus’ in Virtual Space: Post-feminist Humor and the Internet, Critical Studies in Media Communication, 28(3), 253-273.

  • Shifman, L. & Blondheim, M. (2010). The medium is the joke: Online humor about and by networked computers, New Media and Society, 12 (8), 1348-1367

  • Shifman, L. & Lemish, D. (2010). Between feminism and fun(ny)mism:  Analyzing gender in popular Internet humor, Information, Communication and Society, 13(6), 870 – 891.

  • Hamo, M., Kampf, Z. & Shifman, L. (2010). Surviving the "Mock Interview": Challenges to Political Communicative Competence in Contemporary Televised Discourse,  Media, Culture and Society 32 (2), 247-266.   

  • Shifman, L. &  Thelwall, M. (2009). Assessing global diffusion with web memetics: The spread and evolution of a popular joke, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), 60(12), 2567-2576.

  • Blonheim, M. & Shifman, L. (2009). What Officials Say, What Media Show, and What Publics Get: Gaza, January 2009, The Communication Review, 12(3), 205-214.  

  • Shifman, L., Coleman, S. & Ward, S. (2007). Only joking? Online Humour in the 2005 UK General Election, Information, Communication and Society, 10(4), pp. 465-487.

  • Shifman, L. (2007). Humor in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Continuity and Change in Internet-Based Comic Texts, International Journal of Communication, 1, 187-209, Available at:   

  • Shifman, L. &  Katz, E. (2005). Just Call Me Adonai: A Case Study of Ethnic Humor and Immigrant Assimilation, American Sociological Review, 70 (5), 843-859    

Recent Activities and Awards:

  • 2016   Michael Bruno Award for 2016.
  • 2011    Research grant, German Israeli Foundation (GIF), Young Scientist program: “Online joke memes as globalizing agents? A cross-linguistic Study”.

  • 2010    Research grant, Israel Science Foundation (ISF), “Online humor and the construction of Israeli identity” (with Dafna Lemish)  

  • 2010    Top 3 paper award – International Communication Association (ICA), Popular Communication division. Paper’s title: “An Anatomy of a YouTube Meme”.