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Avatars of the Word : From Papyrus to Cyberspace

Avatars of the Word : From Papyrus to Cyberspace - 98 edition

ISBN13: 978-0674001947

Cover of Avatars of the Word : From Papyrus to Cyberspace 98 (ISBN 978-0674001947)
ISBN13: 978-0674001947
ISBN10: 067400194X
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 98
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Published: 1998
International: No

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Avatars of the Word : From Papyrus to Cyberspace - 98 edition

ISBN13: 978-0674001947

James Joseph O'Donnell

ISBN13: 978-0674001947
ISBN10: 067400194X
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 98
Publisher: Harvard University Press

Published: 1998
International: No
Summary

The written word has been a central bearer of culture since antiquity. But its position is now being challenged by the powerful media of electronic communication. In this penetrating and witty book James O'Donnell takes a reading on the promise and the threat of electronic technology for our literate future.

In Avatars of the Word O'Donnell reinterprets today's communication revolution through a series of refracted comparisons with earlier revolutionary periods: the transition from oral to written culture, from the papyrus scroll to the codex, from copied manuscript to print. His engaging portrayals of these analogous epochal moments suggest that our steps into cyberspace are not as radical as we might think. Observing how technologies of the word have affected the shaping of culture in the past, and how technological transformation has been managed, we regain models that can help us navigate the electronic transformation now underway. Concluding with a focus on the need to rethink the modern university, O'Donnell specifically addresses learning and teaching in the humanities, proposing ways to seek the greatest benefit from electronic technologies while steering clear of their potential pitfalls.

James O'Donnell's site for Avatars of the Word
This site offers excellent supplementary materials-- prepared by the author--that illustrate and extend the discussion of issues raised in Avatars of the Word


Author Bio

O'Donnell, James J. : University of Pennsylvania

James J. O'Donnell brings to his searching meditation on the life of the mind in cyberspace a unique combination of perspectives. He is Professor of Classical Studies and Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing at the University of Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: The Scholar in His Study
Phaedrus: Hearing Socrates, Reading Plato
From the Alexandrian Library to the Virtual Library and Beyond

Hyperlink: The Instability of the Text
From the Codex Page to the Homepage

Hyperlink: The Shrine of Nonlinear Reading
The Persistence of the Old and the Pragmatics of the New

Hyperlink: Who Owns That Idea?
The Ancients and the Moderns: The Classics and Western Civilizations
Augustine Today: Linear Narratives and Multiple Pathways
The New Liberal Arts: Teaching in the Postmodern World
What Becomes of Universities? (For Professors Only)
Cassiodorus: Or, the Life of the Mind in Cyberspace

Bibliographic Notes
Index

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