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The Tradition of Western Literacy

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The Tradition of Western Literacy the writing revolution References David Crowley and Paul Heyer. Communication in History. 4th ed. Sydney: Pearson, 2003. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Tradition of Western Literacy


1
The Tradition of Western Literacy
  • the writing revolution

2
References
  • David Crowley and Paul Heyer. Communication in
    History. 4th ed. Sydney Pearson, 2003. Part 2,
    chapter 611.
  • W.H Edwards. An introduction to Aboriginal
    Societies. 2nd ed. Tuggerah, NSW Social Science
    Press, 2004, pp. 90-104

3
Overview
  • An introduction to the essays

4
Writing and Knowledge
  • writing systems gt revolution
  • initially, for economic and political purposes
  • next development writing represents speech.

5
Hieroglyphic Phonograms
  • Dodson, A 2001, The hieroglyphs of Ancient Egypt,
    New Holland Publishers, London, Cape Town,
    Sydney, Auckland, p.39.

6
The first alphabet
  • Which civilization developed the first alphabet?
    And when?
  • the Phoenicians
  • approximately 1500BC

7
Drucker The Alphabet
  • How did the Greeks change the Phoenician
    alphabet?
  • added vowels
  • consonants became abstract sounds
  • What is the significance of the Greek alphabet?
  • resulted in the only writing style that has
    the capacity to represent the sounds of spoken
    language with such efficient and adaptable means
    (Drucker 200344)
  • root of all subsequent alphabets in the West.

8
Havelock The Greek Legacy
  • New literacy how did it change things?
  • challenged craft literacy
  • created the common reader through the
    implementation of schooling
  • affected memory and cognition
  • texts often transcribed earlier narratives from
    the oral tradition

9
Logan Writing and the Alphabet Effect
  • Is a literate culture superior to a non-literate
    one?
  • Literate cultures are often defined by their
    development of abstraction, analysis and
    classification (Logan 200360).
  • Oral cultures however, tend to be rich in
    metaphor, nonlinear creative thought, and memory
    (Crowley Heyer 200343)
  • The differences are cultural, not hierarchical
    (Crowley Heyer 200342-43)
  • Further discussion in module 8.

10
Ong Orality, Literacy, and Modern Media
  • psychodynamics of orality
  • how do cultures, that have not had the
    benefits/limitations of literacy, perceive the
    world?
  • cf Australian Aborigines
  • do you know what secondary orality is?

11
Eco A Medieval Library
  • Which book/film is this extract from?
  • The Name of the Rose.
  • When were the Middle Ages?
  • 1100AD1500AD (varies)
  • Which social group monopolised literacy?
  • Catholic Church
  • When did texts in the vernacular appear?
  • 1400AD
  • What other invention helped this?
  • paper

12
Burke Communication in the Middle Ages
  • oral nature of cultural life
  • place of memory in this culture
  • memory and the Ad Herennium
  • implications of literacy

13
FOCUS
  • Ong and Burke

14
Ong, Orality, Literacy, and Modern Media
  • Psychodynamics of orality
  • Words possess great power (Ong 200365)
  • Influenced thought processes as well as methods
    of expression
  • Dependent on mnemonic patterns

15
Ong, Orality, Literacy, and Modern Media
Oral Literacy
Aggregative and collective Dissecting and analytical
Present, situational thinking Abstract thinking
Human experience Impersonal Objects
16
Ong, Orality, Literacy, and Modern Media
  • Secondary orality
  • participatory mystique, its fostering of a
    communal snese, its concentration on the present
    moment, and even its use of formulas (Ong
    200369)
  • Permanently based in writing and print

17
Burke, The Tradition of Western Literacy
  • Documentation was rare
  • Mass illiteracy
  • Isolated, self-sufficient communities
  • Still an emphasis on oral traditions
  • Rhyme used to aid memorization
  • Ad Herennium the major mnemonic reference work
    of the Middle Ages (Burke 200377-78)

18
Burke, The Tradition of Western Literacy
  • Became obsolete with the advent of the printing
    press
  • Writing was considered a separate skill to
    reading
  • Economic growth increased demand for manuscripts
  • Availability of paper

19
Australian Perspective
  • Aboriginal culture rich in oral traditions
  • 270 different Aboriginal languages
  • Reflect intimate knowledge of the physical and
    social environments (Edwards 200496)
  • Concrete objects as opposed to abstract concepts

20
Ngaanyatjarra Gesture Speech
  • Edwards, W.H 2004, An introduction to Aboriginal
    societies, (2nd edn), Social Science Press,
    Tuggerah, NSW, p. 101

21
Aboriginal Cultures and Communication
  • Only 20 of 250 languages still regularly used
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