Archive for the ‘Orality’ Category

During the 1930’s and 1940’s two scholars working at the University of Toronto began to outline a new theory of the role played by media of communication in shaping consciousness.  English-born and trained classicist Eric Havelock studied ancient Greece’s transition from an oral to a literate culture and the changes in mentality this brought about.  […]


Walter Ong, SJ (1912 – 2003) Mission: The Walter J. Ong Society (WJOSOC) was founded February 8, 2014 at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA by a group of scholars interested in fostering scholarship about, with, and like that of Walter Ong, SJ (1912 – 2003). For over 70 years, Fr. Ong studied, taught and published […]


The important first era of communication – orality – is not depicted above and it would be erroneous to think of the inventors of writing, known as cuneiform, living in ancient Sumer around 3200 BC (where modern day southern Iraq now stands), as cavemen (see http://tinyurl.com/24sq8y ). The following excerpt is from from Logan, R.K. (2000). The […]


  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.” […]


 Dr. David R. Olson David R. Olson (born in 1935) is one of the most eminent proponents of Literacy Theory and was a member of the Toronto school of communication, and at one time a director of McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology. Influenced by Jack Goody’s work, he studied with Jerome Bruner, and has been particulary interested, […]


Toronto in the 1950s, looking north on Yonge Street It was Donald F. Theall, Marshall McLuhan’s first PhD student in English Literature, later English and Communication scholar, and President of Trent University who coined the term Toronto School of Communication, as he himself relates:- “In 1983 in a lecture to an audience in Paris at […]


December, 2012   –  FIRST THINGS http://www.firstthings.com/index.php Drop the Mic   –    Kevin White Marshall McLuhan believed that the microphone led to the priest facing the congregation and the end of the Latin Mass, explains Kevin White: In 1974, Marshall McLuhan argued that the microphone was the proximate cause both of the elimination of Latin from the Mass and of […]


Next year, 2012, is the centenary of the birth of Walter Ong, SJ, distinguished scholar of orality and literacy. Ong was Marshall McLuhan’s one-time student at Saint Louis University (SLU), McLuhan having supervised Ong’s MA thesis on Gerard Manley Hopkins and advised him to study Petrus Ramus for his Harvard PhD dissertation. In this article, […]


by Thomas Farrell    Saint Louis University Walter Ong advanced in his Jesuit training to study philosophy (in Latin) at Saint Louis University (SLU) when the young Canadian Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), fresh from studying English at Cambridge University under I. A. Richards and F. R. Leavis, was teaching English at SLU. In addition to completing a […]


May 6th, 2011 at 16:06 A key aspect of culture that McLuhan says was lost with the advent of phonetic literacy and its exponential spread with the invention of printing and movable type, is the idea of our human collective connection or “tribal” identity. Before writing with the phonetic alphabet, all communication between people had […]