Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Home for the Blog

Notes from the Walter J. Ong Collection is back at http://walterong.org/blog/.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Moved Again

While this site remains for linking purposes, the complete Notes from the Walter J. Ong Collection blog is located at http://www.jpwalter.com/ong/.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Technical Issues Solved

The technical issues seem to have been solved and Notes from the Walter Ong Collection seems to be working fine now, including publishing a RSS feed. All new posts should be there. And don't forget to check out the two-week old Walter J. Ong Collection website.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Technical Problems

The move to a Saint Louis University server seems to have caused some problems that need to be worked out. Unfortunately, I do not have complete access to the server, and the library will be closed until after the New Year. Until that time, I’ll keep posting here, which may be easier to use.

Walter J. Ong Collection Web Site

I'm pleased to announce, on behalf of the Pius XII Memorial Library at Saint Louis University, that the Walter J. Ong Collection Web site is now live. The Walter J. Ong Collection website seeks to provide scholars, students, and researchers with information about the Walter J. Ong Manuscript Collection, to host a digital repository for collection materials, and to serve as a comprehensive resource on the life and works of Walter J. Ong, S.J. Our initial digital offerings include a number of unpublished lectures (typescripts saved as .pdf files), including those from his Lincoln Lecture Series in Africa in 1974, an audio recording of a lecture, and a number of photographs of Walter J. Ong and his family.

There will be much more to come over the next few months, and, really, many years to come.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Notes from the Walter J. Ong Archive has Moved

Notes from the Walter J. Ong Archive is being reborn as Notes from the Walter J. Ong Collection, and will now be hosted on a Saint Louis University server at http://ongnotes.slu.edu. The move is intended to give this blog official status and to join it with the soon-to-come Walter J. Ong Collection web site.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ong and the Ecological Age

A number of people have asked me about an Ong quote I included in a CFP in which Ong suggests that we are in an ecological age:

The age in which humans existence is now framed, the age in which human life and technology so massively and intimately interact, can well be styled not only the information age and the age of interpretation, but, perhaps, even more inclusively, the ecological age, in principle an age of total interconnectedness, where everything on the earth, and even the universe, is interconnected with everything else, no only in itself but, ideally, in human understanding and activity.

That passage is from Ch. 12 of Ong's unfinished book Language as Hermeneutic: A Primer on the Word and Digitization. Chapter 12 is titled "Language, Technology, and the Human" and the quote is on page 4 of the typescript. Ch. 12 is one of the more unfinished chapters (there are 13 chapters and a prologue which range from 3 to 28 typed pages). I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but the entire typescript is about 40,000 words. As Language as Hermeneutic does not yet have an item number, MLA bibliographic information would be:

Ong, Walter J. Language as Hermeneutic: A Primer on the Word and Digitization. Ts. Walter J. Ong Manuscript Collection. Pius XII Memorial Library, Saint Louis University.

Unfortunately, each chapter has its own pagination, so you'd need to indicate that it's on page 4 of chapter 12. Or you could go the easy route and cite this blog entry.

Those interested in the above quote should take a look at Ong's "Ecology and Some of Its Future," which was published in 2002 (Explorations in Media Ecology 1.1 (2002): 5-11). It's a short piece but a good one. And no, I checked and this quote isn't in the article.

Cross posted to Machina Memorialis.

Friday, November 03, 2006

MLA 2006 Session 108: Walter J. Ong’s Orality and Literacy at Twenty-Five

Abstracts for MLA 2006 session "Walter J. Ong’s Orality and Literacy at Twenty-Five" (Session 108; Thursday, 28 December; 8:30–9:45 a.m., Congress C, Loews) are now available.

Cross-posted to Machina Memorialis.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Ever Present Presence of the Spoken Word

The more I read in cognitive studies, the more I find that Ong was already there, working with ideas and theories that cognitive studies is now exploring or finding to be true. Let me juxtapose two snippets I've come across in the past few days, one from Ong's "Comment: Voice, Print, and Culture" (The Journal of Typographic Research 4.1 (1970): 77-83), which expresses a common Ongian theme, and one from Jeanne Fahnestock's "Rhetoric in the Age of Cognitive Science" (The Viability of the Rhetorical Tradition. Ed. Richard Graff, Arthur E. Walzer, and Janet M. Atwill. Albany: State U of New York P, 2005. 159-179):

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

On Language and Thought

Mixing Memory has a repost on cognitive science's return to linguistic relativity.

Over the last decade or so, however, cognitive scientists have been revisiting linguistic relativity (linguistic determinism is probably gone for good). They've discovered that language does in fact constrain the way we perceive and conceptualize a wide variety of things, including time, space, number, events, and perhaps even color (see this article for a short and accessible summary of some of the research, along with a nice reference section). In 2003, a collection of essays describing much of the research on linguistic relativity was published under the title Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought. It's an excellent book (and it includes a chapter by Michael Tomasello, for those of you who are in the reading group), presenting many interesting ideas and experiments. I highly recommend it for people who are interested in the topic. To give you a taste, I thought I'd post on one chapter ["Sex, Syntax, and Semantics"], which I chose both because I find it very interesting, and because the chapter is available, in its entirety, online.

The full post provides a summary of Lera Boroditsky, Lauren Schmidt, and Webb Phillips' "Sex, Syntax, and Semantics," which is linked to above.

As I've stated many times before, much of Ong's own work is rooted in an understanding that language use can give us insights into cognition, dating back to his dissertation work. As he explains it, while working in the Biblioteque Nationale in Paris, he came across Rudolph Bultmann's reference to the idea that knowing was located in terms of hearing and sound for the ancient Hebrews and in terms of seeing and vision for the ancient Greeks.

Cross posted to Machina Memorialis.