In today’s class we’re going to look at the transition to print and we’ll discuss how technology and culture interact – and we’ll do some more blogging, too. Easy reading this week: just chapter two of Bolter’s Writing Space, which is about writing and technology.

I think we’ll start with the good old “Helpdesk i middelalderen” sketch – which is conveniently available on google video, youtube and various other places as well as on the NRK website.

I’ll show a brief powerpoint so we can look at pictures of incunabulas, which is always satisfying, and we’ll discuss the chapter from Writing Space as well as looking at the changes Elizabeth Eisenstein writes were engendered by print. We’ll draw on the concepts of technological determinism and alternate approaches to understanding the relationship between technology and culture in discussing this.

Finally, students will re-read page 19 of the section from Writing Space, where Bolter argues that technology and culture are so entwined that you can’t really talk about technology changing culture – they both change – and then we’ll discuss how that can be understood in relation to the different approaches to the relationship between technology and society/culture that Chandler outlined (hard and soft technological determinism, socio-cultural determinism, voluntarism, and our addition, co-construction), and that we discussed last week. Then, after a plenary discussion, they’ll blog their conclusions.

2 thoughts on “class notes: Print to Web

  1. Matt K.

    Have a look at Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book (Chicago, 2000) for some
    significant challenges to Eisenstein’s thesis.

  2. Jill

    Oh, THANKS, Matt!! Will do 🙂

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