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Lecture 4

Week 4 Readings Summaries.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Communication Studies
Ghislain Thibault

Week 4 The Print Revolution (p. 64-66) Burke and Ornstein  15 century began the print revolution  Printing press argued as a “prime mover” in history o Technology that influenced other technology o Prototype for mass production o Makes knowledge more widely available  Printing (along with other developments) marked the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern era  Several shifts in communication prepared for the shift to print: o Vernacular literacy (mother tongues) – use of only one language, challenged churches monopoly on written communication, Latin stopped being used since its use involved learning a second language o Use of paper o Adoption of Arabic numbers  The printing press standardized the form of numbers and produced instructional texts explaining their use. Science and commercialism benefited  Paper originated in China  Printing press made by Gutenberg Lewis Mumford  With the coming of the printing press, reproduction of texts became mechanized o Art of calligraphy declines in favor of simple writing(no scribes) Elizabeth Einstein  Printing brought forth a new class of intellectuals “men of letters”  Previously, those who produced knowledge worked under the church or acquired patron from nobility or the wealthy merchant class  The printer became a new kind of patron, one linked to a growing market economy Nature of Texts  Indices were created to navigate texts that were previously navigated by auditory recall  Dictionaries, encyclopedias and grammar texts were on the rise Harvey Graff  Printing press’ influence on protestant reform  Printing affected literacy, religion, and education in colonial North America John Thompson  Traces the history of news, from word of mouth, to weeklies, to daily newspapers The Invention of Printing: Lewis Mumford (p. 74-77)  The spread of printing and the accessory arts on which is depends (paper making) wove into a single web the cultures of the West and the East  A new social medium was necessary to produce books: A community that had abandoned slavery and was ready to equalize cultural advantages once reserved for the ruling caste, so the rise of free cities and urban democracy, of an increasingly literate group of citizens could give an incentive for a method to make the production of book cheaper  Scribes had to be mechanical about writing and make it all the same, that is why handwriting was not used, since it is unique to every person (ie. Your signature)  Books took so long to copy before that people got lost in the art of copying and the spread of learning was limited. (because of the time consuming process)  Printing broke the class monopoly of the written word and gave the common man means the have access to the cultures of the rest of the word. In this way it increased man’s range in time and space  Illiteracy chains one to the ‘here and now’ Aspects of the Printing Revolution: Elizabeth Einstein (p. 78-86)  Steinberg: “neither political, constitutional, ecclesiastical
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