中国社会科学院民族文学研究所口头传统研究中心 Oral Traditions Research Center, Institute of Ethnic Literature, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Announcing Oral Tradition and the Internet Announcement

上一篇 / 下一篇  2012-08-17 01:53:21

  

Oral Tradition and the InternetThe Center for Studies in Oral Tradition is pleased to announce the publication of the late John Miles Foley's book, Oral Tradition and the Internet: Pathways of the Mind (Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield: University of Illinois Press, 2012). A web-based version examines the title terms' homologies through 116 entries, more precisely, nodes, that harness the medium's relational power for exploration. In the spirit of the author's commitment to the radical democratizing of knowledge, art, and ideas, the Website is available to all free of charge at http://www.pathwaysproject.org.

Since any characterization of the project's contents here would be otiose, I turn to my main point: I invite you sincerely to participate with the Pathways Project. A fundamental objective of the Pathways Project is to encourage an ongoing dialogue in which the project "is to serve as a heuristic, as a way into some of the most important media challenges of our time. It does not pretend [...] to do anything more (or, for that matter, less)" (Oral Tradition and the Internet, xii).

Just as a successful oral tradition relies upon co-creation, "the network licenses (and requires) your ongoing participation" (ibid. 21). The Pathways Project extends an open invitation to join the conversation by pointing your browser to http://www.pathwaysproject.org/pathways/show/Contributions and becoming a contributor. As Professor Foley noted, "the virtual world [...] works by engaging networks that must always remain under construction and open to individual, emergent navigating" (ibid. 249).

An anecdote. Some time ago, I found myself on a motorbike at a crossroads outside of Vientiane, Laos puzzled as to which fork in the road corresponded to the route number that I had dutifully memorized earlier. Noting my perplexed state, a kind soul approached, and to my question of which was highway number 13, he sagely replied: "Where do you want to go?"

Dr. John Zemke, Director
Center for Studies in Oral Tradition

 

 

 

Oral Tradition and the Internet

Pathways of the Mind

Beyond the page, a rich nexus of human thought

The major purpose of this book is to illustrate and explain the fundamental similarities and correspondences between humankind's oldest and newest thought-technologies: oral tradition and the Internet. Despite superficial differences, both technologies are radically alike in depending not on static products but rather on continuous processes, not on "What?" but on "How do I get there?" In contrast to the fixed spatial organization of the page and book, the technologies of oral tradition and the Internet�mime the way we think�by processing along pathways within a network. In both media it's pathways--not things--that matter.

To illustrate these ideas, this volume is designed as a "morphing book," a collection of linked nodes that can be read in innumerable different ways. Doing nothing less fundamental than challenging the default medium of the linear book and page and all that they entail, Oral Tradition and the Internet shows readers that there are large, complex, wholly viable, alternative worlds of media-technology out there--if only they are willing to explore, to think outside the usual, culturally constructed categories. This "brick-and-mortar" book exists as an extension of The Pathways Project (http://pathwaysproject.org), an open-access online suite of chapter-nodes, linked websites, and multimedia all dedicated to exploring and demonstrating the dynamic relationship between oral tradition and Internet technology.

"Oral Tradition and the Internet�is a stunningly ambitious and highly provocative multi-platform. project in which John Miles Foley invites the reader to join him on a fascinating and compelling�exploration of�the interconnected architectonics of the human mind and the Internet. Wide-ranging, challenging, and intellectually rich, it will have an enormous and revolutionary impact on the field of oral studies and on many interconnected fields of humanistic study. Because it is as accessible as it is erudite, it will appeal alike to the specialist and non-specialist reader."--Mark C. Amodio, author of Writing the Oral Tradition: Oral Poetics and Literate Culture in Medieval England

"This work adds a decisive and stunning new dimension to John Miles Foley's already distinguished contributions to the study of oral traditions--ancient, medieval, and modern. His demonstration that they share significant features with the composition and communication of cultural production deploying digital technology and the internet will provoke a major upheaval in the study of long-term media history."--Thomas Pettitt, coeditor of The Ballad As Narrative: Studies in the Ballad Tradition of England, Scotland, Germany, and Denmark

John Miles Foley was William H. Byler Chair in the Humanities, Curators' Professor of Classical Studies and English, and the director of the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition at the University of Missouri at Columbia. He was the author or editor of twenty books, including How to Read an Oral Poem.


TAG: 弗里 互联网 口头传统 通道项目 遗著

 

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