Lecture 4: Literate and Written Culture

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Communication, Culture and Technology
Nathan Innocente

CCT109 – Lecture 4 October 3, 2013 Literate and Written Culture Agenda –Visual Module 1. Visual media in history – symbols & icons 2. Print and the reification of text 3. Visual literacy and rhetoric 4. Form, content & the role of technology 3 Core Themes a) Media and technology actively transform content – visual media is powerful b) Visual artists try to dramatize an idea or feelings into a physical manifestation c) Visual media have politics (are political) The Origins of Writing – Andrew Robinson - Writing is among the greatest inventions in human history, perhaps the greatest invention - How did pioneering writers 4000-5000 years ago learn to write? How did their symbols encode their speech and thought? Symbol Something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association convention or accidental resemblance, especially: a visible sign of something invisible Purpose of Writing 1. Urge for immortality 2. Predict the future 3. Identity or property marker 4. Accounting 5. Expression 6. Teaching 7. Ceremonial purposes 8. Self-reflection Is writing always good? - Polictial gain, elitist, propaganda - H.G. Wells “writing puts agreements, laws, commandments on record. It made the growth of states larger than the old city states possible. The command of the priest or king and his seal could go far beyond his sight and voice and could survive his death” Graffiti is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property. It is any type of public markings that may appear in the forms of simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. CCT109 – Lecture 4 October 3, 2013 Transfer from pictures to text - phonetic symbols Rebus principle – radical idea that a pictographic symbol could be used for it’s phonetic value Eg. Gr8 cu l8r Print and the reification of text – Elizabeth Esenstein th - In the late 15 century the reproduction of written materials began to move from the copyi
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