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302 | How to Speak Emoji
302 | How to Speak Emoji

Photo: Jenna Wortham by Naima Green

Sun, May 1 | 12 - 1 PM
Chicago Athletic Association
Stagg Court
12 S. Michigan Ave. | Chicago, IL | 60603
  • Members: $12
  • Public: $15
  • Students and Teachers: $10

In 2015, for the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year was not a word at all, but an emoji: &1F602; officially called the "Face with Tears of Joy". The surge in the use of emojis is changing how we communicate at the intersection of language and technology. Join the conversation between two experts: Fred Benenson, who has translated Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick into emojis, and New York Times technology reporter Jenna Wortham.


Fred Benenson worked at Kickstarter from 2009 until 2016 focusing on data, research, and everything in between, eventually leading a team as their VP of Data. In 2010 Fred published Emoji Dick, a emoji translation of Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick. In 2013, the book became the first emoji book acquired by the Library of Congress.

Jenna Wortham is a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, where she covers digital culture and technology, among other things. She is also working on an art book project called Black Futures.