Orality and Literacy
Reflections across Disciplines
edited by Carlson, Keith Thor; Khanenko-Friesen, Natalia & Fagan, Kristina
Orality and Literacy investigates the interactions of the oral and the literate through close studies of particular cultures at specific historical moments. Rejecting the 'great-divide' theory of orality and literacy as separate and opposite to one another, the contributors posit that whatever meanings the two concepts have are products of their ever-changing relationships to one another.
Through topics as diverse as Aboriginal Canadian societies, Ukrainian-Canadian narratives, and communities in ancient Greece, Medieval Europe, and twentieth-century Asia, these cross-disciplinary essays reveal the powerful ways in which cultural assumptions, such as those about truth, disclosure, performance, privacy, and ethics, can affect a society's uses of and approaches to both the written and the oral. The fresh perspectives in Orality and Literacy reinvigorate the subject, illuminating complex interrelationships rather than relying on universal generalizations about how literacy and orality function.close this panel