Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ong's Orality and Literacy turns 25 next year (1982-2007), and as many regular readers know, I believe the book is both widely misread and misunderstood. See, for instance "Reading and Misreading Orality and Literacy," notes for my CCCC 2006 RNF presentation, interview response, and this rant. To mark the 25th anniversary of the book's publication, I've decided to organize a series of conference panels for MLA 2006, CCCC 2007, C&W 2007, Saint Louis University's Ong conference (assuming the plan to make the Ong conference bi-annual holds together), and maybe MEA 2007. One could argue that the MLA panel ought to be held in Dec. 2007 rather than Dec. 2006, but it seems odd to have a concentration of panels in March (CCCC), April (Ong Conference), May (C&W), and June (MEA) and then wait six months for MLA, so I'm starting with MLA 2006. The spring issue of the MLA Newsletter should have the brief (35 word) CFP, which is as follows:
Walter J. Ong's Orality and Literacy at 25
Papers relating to Ong's Orality and Literacy. Suggested topics: considerations/reconsiderations, its reception, extensions, critiques, contextualizations. Inquiries and 1-page abstracts by 15 Mar.; John Paul Walter (walterj at
In the next day or two I'll put up a web page where I'll post all the CFPs as they come available, and, eventually, abstracts and the like.

While I haven't decided yet, for CCCC I'm thinking of something along the lines of "25 Years of Reading/Misreading Orality and Literacy, and for C&W something like "Orality and Literacy in the Digital Age."

If you're interested in getting involved, be it proposing a paper, helping organize a panel for one of the above conferences (I don't see why we couldn't propose more than one panel), suggesting panel topics, or even organizing a panel for a conference I don't list above, please leave a comment or email me.

And yes, I am keeping in mind the possibility of some sort of edited collection, either a book or as a special issue of a journal. We should have Constructing Nations, Reconstructing Myth together well before C&W 2007, so I'll know by then whether I'm up for playing editor again.

Cross posted to Machina Memorialis.

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