Oral Culture

Visual and Acoustic Space
Jennifer Bradshaw

SCMLA, took notes rather than live blogging. Lost notes. Have now recovered them. These are my notes.

for PhD looked into glossalalia, tying it into culture and mountain witches

Looking at Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, etc.

acoustic space – ear as primary function
how function in oral society
time is unfixed, fluid
sound disappears –> going out of existence
sound dynamic indicates presence and power

students reading in libraryvisual space – eye as dominant
time fixed
writing is fixed

acoustic –> shows there (lion roar)
v. image of lion

acoustic = names have power
don’t speak curse
man situated within space, within God’s space

acoustic can hear what is behind
visual can only see what is in front

acoustic = community
from interior of one goes into interior of another

visual = distances
can read without connection

visual –> leads to separation and division
function of symbol

secondary orality:
Ong- radio, TV
McLuhan- included computers

typinghas features of orality
still sound, surrounds
but time becomes more limited than visual
must be instant
have absence and distancing
sound becomes a fixed location–doesn’t indicate presence or power

digital rebuilds communities
renewed sense of community
not like original oral communities

problems with secondary orality
overlaid onto the visual
grounded on visual space

benefits of secondary orality
disseminate information
build community

“speaking silence” Ong
silence = active, dynamic of acoustic space
can encounter God in active silence
silence doesn’t change–no beginning or end, so it is fluid

empty spaces in visual are like silence in acoustic

empty in visual = potential

situated in our empty space in visual
empty space –physics –void, black hole, vacuum
but Frank Close says light + light = darkness

sign that God exists within darkness
light in light can be darkness

shows potential in empty space

secondary orality and the media
foster awareness of self as situated
think of these silences
empty page as silence

language has lost power because we are overwhelmed with sound

negative effects–potentials/benefits may let us revisit and develop positive

Richard Lanham secondary orality –like primary participation and feedback

words dynamic, not fixed online, so can change
good and bad to that

importance of practice theory–>
eye contact, pacing, voice, gestures = 2nd orality
Really? Seems like these would have been important during orality in general.

empty space could be negative potential
(salt thrown behind you to get the devil in the eye)

I screencast-o-matic for feedback.
No spaces for reflection.
Wonder if feedback gives them time.
They have to write my comments into their papers.
So should I have silence in the feedback?

Silence is not necessarily a bad thing.

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