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St. Michael's College Courses
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Lindsey Eckert

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September 20, 2011 Scavenger Hunt Assignment: (online on Blackboard) - Victoria College Book Sale (this week) • Thurs 4-9 pm -- need student ID to get in free - University College (Oct. 14-18) - Trinity Collect (Oct. 20-24) - Say which day you went and where - Can use same book twice (no more than twice) - Need majority of items on the list -- difficulties: can mention it in reflection *If you finish the assignment early, hand it in early - Vocabulary for midterm on Blackboard -- Oct. 18 - Words in red -- fair game for midterm and final - Williams & Abbott - glossary Oral to Written, Roll to Codex, Manuscript to Print - Impulses towards technological change: • “Unthinkingly” embracing technological change • Technology is killing literature - Check both tendencies - Technologies (not just digital - also printing press, printed book [codex] vs. scroll) are transitory - They play particular roles in particular times and places - what technology means in one point in history might not mean the same in another; PLACE is important in terms of technology (especially in McKenzie reading) - The book vs. e-reader -- changes how you view the text, interact with it Narratives of Media Transition - Tell stories about orality to literacy, manuscript to print, print to digital (where we stand now) - Social, economic, political processes/forces about production of books - The narratives of media transition have been surprisingly (and reassuringly?) similar throughout history - story of intense fear (resistance to technology) - These media shifts are usually messier and more complicated than our nar- ratives suggest -- not everyone readily accepted/accept new technology (e.g. paper-making, Gutenberg’s printing press, e-reader) --> lots of overlap with narratives Socrates on Media Transition - Plato’s Phaedrus, c.370 BC - Someone who invented printing -- I’m so excited about new media technolo- gies - Vs. other branch: wait a second: this new technology will make you forget, people will not learn anything - When you write something down something is lost - culturally and individu- ally and you will become incapacitated in various pursuits Silent Reading Scare - Advent of silent reading in the Medieval Period - In monasteries people didn’t read silently - they read aloud, together -- pref- erence of oral reading - Printed word - heavily tied to oral culture Dangers of print explosion during the dawn of the Machine-Press Period - It wasn’t individuals printing by hand, taking hours and hours, using lots of people => now machines do it - William Wordsworth: he thought people would become stupid - Transition from hand-printed works to industrial revolution -- detrimental to society because rather than reading high, brilliant works (Milton and Shake- speare), they’d read trashy, mainstream, frantic “gothic” books - James Gilroy painting/satire/caricature: lavishly-dressed women (high class) reading trashy books -- closing out the outside world (or showing shame?) by hiding behind curtain to retreat to read - Ugly lady -- warning to the pretty ladies: this is what you will become - Dedication to Matthew “Monk” Lewis -- author of a gothic, “trashy” novel - This shows the fears of the time about reading: reading makes you ugly, makes you socially irresponsible, reading makes you masturbate (because reading is a solitary act) Does the Internet Make Us Dumb? - “Is Google Making Us Stupid” article - “The Internet has become a primary form of external or transitive memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves” - Knowledge isn’t in your mind, but you carry it around with you - Mind-numbing intake of data, multi-tasking - extensive vs. intensive narra- tive (we used to read intensively, now we read extensively) - With the invention of the printing press, books are more accessible to peo- ple, reading becomes mindless - Wordsworth: fear that there’s so much print people won’t sit down to read Milton and read intensively (to understand it), they’ll just read trashy novels - Immediate gratification, “I wanna know what happens” -- but you don’ t ab- sorb the information Narratives of Media Transition - Changes between media are slower than we often think - The advent of new media technology (whether the written alphabet, the printing press, e-books) does not immediately negate the usefulness or cul- tural value of a previous technology - People did not stop the old technology once the new one came in (e.g. peo- ple did not stop writing manuscripts when Gutenberg’s printing press came out -- lots of overlap) Campaign for NOOK e-reader - e-readers (like all new technologies) must appeal to both traditionalists and those excited about new technology -- friendly to multiple groups - Let’s consider the ways in which advertising speaks to both these groups: - Kid reading: curling up to read, window open (outside world isn’t closed off but opened up), associating NOOK with a child (the new generation, the fu- ture) who will introduce it to others -- but would a 6-year-old go out to buy a book? (Targeted to parents of kids) - “Read Forever” (….until the battery dies) -- but the e-book is less tangible, forever-ness is really false; read = socially accepted as good; forever = it never changes, you’re still going to curl up with a book - “Forever” = can store a forever’s worth of books on the NOOK - Directed to parents who might think technology will make kids less literate -- this combines technology and reading - Forever = cultural importance of reading (connect to “A Child’s Garden of Verses” -- similar image of a kid curled up reading in front of a window) - “Read Forever” - children’s books are expensive, only used for X number of years; with an e-reader, you can choose what to put on your e-reader and it’ll grow with you - Both children’s faces are being subtly illuminated while reading (old - light from window bounces off book to light up his/her face; new - from e-reader) => illuminated by knowledge - Target audience
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