Intro to Media and Culture [NOTES - PART 10] -- I got a 90% in the course

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COMM 121
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February 6: Mass Media History I Oral Culture ● When humans first began communicating, we did not have the written language ● Development of what we will ultimately call “humanity” ● As we develop communication, we build communities and language becomes more complex ● Storytelling ○ To share information ○ To be entertained ○ Art form ○ News ○ Mysterious ○ Our brains are built to remember poetry, music, stories ● While we were learning to survive, we were also enjoying stories ● “Television has become our national storyteller” ● Writing begins as a means for economics - a form of accounting ● Some of the most important communication was about danger: watching out for animals, controlling fire, making tools, building homes and communities ● We begin to develop writing out of necessity ● “We’ve developed this idea of permanent communication” through the written word ○ Make exchanges of goods and have evidence of it ○ Big hunk of wood or dried mud - cumbersome ○ Leaves - scribe into leaves, when they dry, the writing remains on the leaf which is lighter and easier to carry than mud slabs ● “We begin to start writing it down” ○ Changes the world ○ Accounting ○ Survival ○ We begin to write down “the Iliad” and “the Odyssey” for reasons other than survival (1,000s of years later) ○ When we develop writing, we don’t have rules for it ○ “We know what we see. We know how now, in some capacity, to translate what we see. We have been storytellers since the beginning.” ● Connect words with images ○ Looks like comic books ○ Who’s in charge of this written language?? ○ The “leader/ruler/lord/king” of (what will become feudal societies) communities decided rules about words ● Secrets ○ “Mistakes” in written word ○ Multiple handwritten copies often had mistakes ● Oral cultures were not illiterate because literacy did not exist ** ● Written culture created concepts of secrets, permanence, and control ○ If everyone in the village knew how to read, leader loses control Print Culture: Print was born in mid 1400s, and its growth enabled massive changes in technology ● Gutenberg Bible (1465?? Mid 1400s) - makes bible more accessible ○ Still has artistic element to it but the mass production could not be completed by hand ● Books ● Newspapers ● Magazines ● Wine press = ink press ○ “Now the word is out there” ● PRINT CHANGES CULTURE ● With Print Culture, “Highbrow, lowbrow” development ○ Soap operas: today = trashy, not of literary merit ○ Shakespeare (which are also soap o
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