Academic Conference: Technology, Rhetoric, & Cultural Change: Walter J. Ong, S. J. in the Age of Google, Facebook, & Twitter


  Walter Ong, S.J. (1912-2003)

Gonzaga University will host an interdisciplinary conference Feb. 7-8 celebrating the work of Jesuit scholar and teacher Walter J. Ong, considered among the foremost theorists of rhetoric in the 20th century. The conference is titled, “Technology, Rhetoric, and Cultural Change:  Walter J. Ong, S. J. in the Age of Google, Facebook, and Twitter.”

A student of Marshall McLuhan and Perry Miller, Ong’s dissertation on the importance of Peter Ramus, a 16th century logician who developed a deeply influential pedagogy, brought him an international audience. Over the course of his long career, Ong published several books and hundreds of essays, most arguing that the technology of human communication is reflected, however indirectly, in human consciousness.

This conference will celebrate Ong’s legacy and the tradition of Jesuit scholarship. As enthusiasts of new media daily claim its transformative status, the conference will also explore – using the lens of Walter Ong’s scholarship – these powerful new communication tools and the emerging world they promise.

February 7-8, 2014 – Gonzaga University Spokane, WA


 Friday, February 7, 2014 – Jepson Center, Jepson Faculty Lounge (ROOM 239)

5:00 pm: Opening reception

Introduction: Kirk Besmer, Gonzaga University

Welcome by Patricia O’Connell Killen, Academic Vice-President, Gonzaga University

Jepson 120 (Hogan Classroom) – 6:00 pm: Plenary Session

The Van Christoph Lecture: Introduction: Tim Clancy, Gonzaga University

Sara Van Den Berg, Director of the The Ong Center for Language, Media and Culture, St. Louis University

The State of Ong Scholarship

8:00 pm: No host dinner.  Luigi’s Italian Restaurant (Downtown Spokane: 245 W. Main Ave.)

Saturday, February 8, 2014 – All sessions will meet in the Jepson Center

Jepson Lobby – 8:30-9:15 am: Continental Breakfast

9:15-10:45 am: Orality and Literacy

Session 1A: Ong and Writing/Literature – Jepson 120 (Hogan Classroom)

Moderator: Paul De Palma, Gonzaga University

Kateland Wolfe, Georgia State University – Does Changing the Distance Between the Audience and the Text Change the Amount of Control the Audience has over the Text?

Jennifer Matsuda, Independent Scholar – Orality, Writing, Print and Beyond: E-mail Demonstrated as a Literary Genre in Voltaire’s Heart (2005) and The Silence of Galileo (2009) by Luis Lopez Nieves

Iryana Matluska, Minsk State Linguistic University – Cultural and Thematic Dominants in Modern Media Discourse: A Case Study of American, Belarusian and British On-line Publications

Session 1B: Orality – Jepson 122

Moderator: Kirk Besmer, Gonzaga University

Kris Morehouse and Heather Crandall, Gonzaga University – Virtual Grief

Thomas Zlatic, St. Louis University – The Persistence of Memory

Paul Soukup S.J., Santa Clara University – Ong and Hermeneutics

10:45-11:00 am: Break (refreshments provided)

11:00-12:30 am: Language and Philosophy

Session 2A: Language Studies – Jepson 120 (Hogan Classroom)

Moderator: John Caputo, Gonzaga University

F. X. Sligo, Massey University – Liminal Literacy and Occupational Orality: How Workplace Oral-Experiential Cultures Set Limits to Literacy

Maria Kathrina Bautista Diaz and Hong Ngoc, Truong, Chiao Tung University – Asynchonous Academic and Cultural Mediation in the Context of Computer Mediated Communication: A case study between Chinese and French e-mails

Paul De Palma, Gonzaga University – Ongian Implications for Automatic Speech Recognition

Phillipa Mules, Aukland University – Spoken Word as Pedagogical Tool: Walter Ong and a Framework for an Oral Pedagogy

Session 2B: Ong and Philosophy – Jepson 122

Moderator: Kirk Besmer, Gonzaga University

Dan Bradley, Gonzaga University – Walter Ong and Edmund Husserl: The Rise of Literacy and the Genetic Constitution of the Life-World

Thomas Zlatic, St. Louis University – Aphorisms and Metaphysics

Tim Clancy S.J., Gonzaga University – The World as Hypertext

12:30-1:30 pm: Brown bag Lunch: Jepson Lobby (catered)

1:30-3:00: Ong in Context

Session 3A: Applications – Jepson 120 (Hogan Classroom)

Moderator: Heather Crandall

Duang Tran, Loyola Marymount University – Faith and Contemporary Contexts for American Catholic Higher Education

Jael Cooper, Gonzaga University – Leader Identification and Audience Response: A Consideration of the Rhetoric of American Folk Music

James Jarc, Gonzaga University – Mobiliteracy: Applying Ong’s Psychodynamic Characteristics to Users of Mobile Communication Technology

Stephen McFadden, Aaliyah Miller, and Elizabeth Weber, Gonzaga University – Operation Reintegration: Assessing and Meeting the Needs of Post-Deployed Military

Session 3B: Secondary Orality – Jepson 122

Moderator: Tim Clancy, Gonzaga University

Pavel Schlossberg, Nobuya Inagaki, Gonzaga University – Education after the Gutenberg Parenthesis: The Presence of Secondary Orality in Online Education

Charla Markham Shaw, University of Texas at Arlington – Creating Super Mom: Secondary Orality and Pinterest

Will Cooney, Gonzaga University – Singularity through Oral Residue

3:00-3:30 pm: Break (refreshments provided)

3:30-4:30: Concluding Plenary Session – Jepson 120 (Hogan Classroom)

Introduction: Paul De Palma

Randolph Lumpp, Regis University – Going Global with Walter Ong: The Society and the Site

John Caputo, Gonzaga University – Walter Ong: How the Seamless Web of Technology is Restructuring Consciousness

360° view of the campus of Gonzaga University

2 Responses to “Academic Conference: Technology, Rhetoric, & Cultural Change: Walter J. Ong, S. J. in the Age of Google, Facebook, & Twitter”

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