“When you just send me a text full of emojis, it is so easy to dismiss you … A panda next to a gun next to a wrapped gift? It makes no sense!” So Ray admonishes Shoshanna’s use of emojis in the season 2 premiere of Girls, clearly missing the power of the tiny icons to critique, transform, and translate the world around us. Emojis can be particularly useful for literary criticism, where academics are often accused of producing work that is abstract and inaccessible. As a first attempt to foster mutual understanding between critics and readers, then, we’ve translated some of the field’s canonical texts into concrete terms. How many can you name?
Answers: 1. Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex; 2. Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author”; 3. Judith Butler, Gender Trouble; 4. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Between Men; 5. Franco Moretti’s Graphs, Maps, Trees; 6. Lee Edelman, No Future; 7. Raymond Williams, Keywords; 8. José Esteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia; 9. Chandra Talpade Mohanty, “Under Western Eyes”; 10. E. Patrick Johnson (ed.), No Tea, No Shade; 11. Terry Castle, The Apparitional Lesbian; 12. D. A. Miller, The Novel and the Police; 13. J. Jack Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place; 14. Gayle Rubin, “The Traffic in Women”; 15. Leo Bersani, “Is the Rectum a Grave?”