Posts in Gender
Emoji are great and/or they will destroy the world

Outside of emoji researchers, lots of people still forecast disaster or dream of universal communication even if most of us are confident that neither is nigh. Despite our protests, emoji inspire visions of apocalypse and utopia.

As with many linguistic resources (sounds, words, syntax), people use emoji to grind all sorts of axes. For example, people who say that women use more emoji than men are usually making some point that the data don't support. The first step in such an analysis is to ignore or discount the fact that, say, Snoop Dogg and Kyle MacLachlan are among the biggest emoji users in the world.

In this talk, I'll demonstrate how ideologies of emoji work themselves out across 870 journalists that political scientists have separately scored as liberal, conservative, or centrist. This lets us compare objective vs. subjective stances and inverts the idea that gender explains emoji to show how it is that emoji are a way that people "do" gender differently based on their political commitments.

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Cher is the queen of emoji even if she isn't

It is universally recognized by experts that Cher is the Queen of Emoji. (Hail, Cher.)

I’m pretty sure this is what Cher wears while she tweets emoji after emoji after emoji

But as far as I know, no one has (a) performed an actual analysis to prove this, nor has anyone (b) performed an adequate interpretive dance to Dark Lady. I once tried to tackle (b) at a retreat near Big Sur, but today my focus is (a).

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The gender of artificial intelligence

There’s Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Nuance’s Nina. Sure, Facebook has “M”, Google has “Google Now”, and Siri’s voice isn’t always that of a woman. But it does feel worth noting that (typically male-dominated) engineering groups routinely give women’s names to the things you issue commands to. Is artificial intelligence work about Adams making Eves?

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Emotions are relational: positioning and the use of affective linguistic resources

(Download my dissertation here)

To understand human beings is to understand the variety and complexity of emotional experiences they have. Understanding how language is both shaped by and used in creating and coping with these experiences is the focus of this dissertation. It offers three case studies about affective linguistic resources, advancing a theoretical framework (positioning) and a series of quantitative methodologies that grow out of information-theoretic approaches to language.

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