Talk show between Professor Alisa Freedman (Oregon University, U.S.A) and students of The Faculty of Applied Literature (VLU, Vietnam)

(Admission Office – Van Lang, November 05th, 2018 ) – In the morning on November, 5th, 2018, a talk show whose topic was “Emoji and culture literacy” between Professor Alisa Freedman, lecturer of Oregon University (OU, USA) and students of The Faculty of Applied Literature of Van Lang University (VLU,HCMC), was held at VLU - Campus 3.

Professor Alisa Freedman is now teaching Literature at Oregon University (OU, USA), an expert specialized in researching about the Japan’s culture. She shared with students of the Faculty of Applied Literature of Van Lang University (VLU, HCMC) a lot of useful information about the meaning of emojis in Japan‘s cultural life, the important role of emoji in the global interaction, and the discoveries about the literature activities using emoji all around the world.

DH Van lang lich alisafreedman 1An interaction between Ph.D Ho Quoc Hung – Vice dean of The Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of VLU and the Faculty of Applied Literature’s freshmen & sophomores.

“Emoji and Culture literacy”

“Culture literacy” is the concept of reading and understanding the text symbols in our society – it’s getting more and more important because nowadays people are not only exposed to their country’s culture but also others. For the students of the Faculty of Literature, once they clearly know about the culture, they can “decode” literature phenomena inside every country. In this sense, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities organized the talk show between Professor Alisa Freedman and students of Applied Literature. In addition, Professor Alisa is an emoji expert.

Emojis are emotional symbols, commonly used on cellphones and on the Internet for exchanging information, expressing our attitudes & feelings. This was an invention of Japanese in 1999, with 719 first emojis, then spread out all over the world, especially in USA. Emoji is becoming a global “language” just because when we look at those symbols, we can easily understand their meaning. Professor Alisa shared basic information about the emoji’s history and development in the attentive listening of the VLU lecturers and students.

Professor used a big part of her time to introduce to our students about the commonly used emojis and provided the overall knowledge about the Japan culture by explaining the meaning of emojis. She also shared some interesting information about the “deviation” between USA and Japan, two countries that she’s ever studied further and understood thoroughly, in the awareness of emoji’s meanings.

Very first works created by emojis.

In this digital century, emoji is the way people adapt to a new mode of IT interaction, a new “way” expressing ideas. What will Literature (a form of language expression) be in this century? Nowadays, if only languages are used to create the literature works, will it be too monotonous? And what creates the literature? As a student of The Faculty of Literature, do you usually create new works? Can you use emoji to write Literature works?

After some of questions to help students open their minds up, the professor introduced to them some first literary works created by emoji in Japan & United States of America. These works open a new creative trend all over the world, and also bring a new insight into Literature activity.

DH Van lang lich alisafreedman 2“ttyl” is the first Literature work totally written by emoji - Lauren Myracle, USA, 2004. “Train Man” - Densha Otoko, 2005. (the right one)

DH Van lang lich alisafreedman 3“Norwegian Wood - ノルウェイの森” – the novel by Murakami Haruki (Japanese writer) (on the left); and “Romeo and Juliet” - William Shakespeare’s classic drama (on the right), are translated into emojis.

The professor Alisa Freedman also shared about her Lietarture teaching job: gave students the chance to create works by emojis, held Literature work translating competitions. In addition, when using emojis, her students had to work harder but felt more interested.

Emoji dictionary available?

Her speech was really attractive, both lecturers and students were excited about the speech. They paid a great attention to it and took notes very carefully.

DH Van lang lich alisafreedman 4“Are there any emoji dictionaries available, my dear professor?” – a really curious and totally serious question from Vu Thanh An, a freshman of the Applied Literature. Surprised with this interesting question, the professor replied that there was no dictionary on emojis. She also recommended some websites that students can access to find out more about the emoji.

After the speech, there was a discussion between Ph.D Ho Quoc Hung and Professor Alisa Freedman about the reason why emoji became a global phenomenon – a kind of social media culture, about its tendency of development as well as the solutions to help countries understand the meaning of every single emoji in the same way.

DH Van lang lich alisafreedman 5Ph.D Ho Quoc Hung expressed his sincere thanks to Professor Alisa Freedman because of her interesting speech that gave useful information to the students. Her recommendation also helped The Faculty of Applied Literature create more activities for the students in the future.

There have been 3 interactions and observation sections for the students of the Faculty of Applied Literature since the beginning of this school year. It was a short discussion with Professor Alisa, but it helped the students gain very useful things. The lecturers hope that; throughout these activities, students will get more specialized knowledge, and also get inspired to develop themselves in their career path.

Written by Nguyen Lien.
Translated by Le Huynh Ha Van


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