This essay provides a history and context for emoji as a way of re-materializing composing while simultaneously arguing that emoji do not threaten alphabetic literacy and instead provide a means of creative graphic expression. The essay acknowledges that n some instances emoji do help to clarify the intent or tone of alphabetic writing, but it notes that emoji, like alphabetic writing, is culturally and contextually bound. Emoji expand expression and doing so open themselves to re-appropriation, intepretation and even misinterpretation, along with the affirming possibilities of artistic creation.

About the Author(s)

Lisa Lebduska teaches writing and directs the college writing program at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Focused on the intersections and eruptions among composition, technology and people, her work has appeared in such publications as WPA Journal, CCC, Narrative, Writing on the Edge, and Technological Ecologies and Sustainability: Methods, Modes, and Assessment.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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