Wednesday, July 29, 2009

From oration to conversation

Whatever happens, however we rearrange our marketplace of ideas - as sooner or later we certainly shall - our sense of what “publication” means is bound to change. We will be able to make our commentary part of the text, and weave an elaborate series of interlocked commentaries together. We will, that is, be moving from a series of orations to a continuing conversation, and, as we have always known, these two rhetorics differ fundamentally. It seems reasonable to assume that as the definition and nature of “publication” changes, our system of academic rewards and punishments will change as well. If we keep an eye on these changes, they may change for the better. Above all, we may be able to introduce our students to the scholarly conversation sooner than we do now, and in more realistic and effective ways. (emphasis added)

Richard Lanham
The Electronic Word:
Democracy, technology and the arts

University of Chicago Press 1993 p22

1 comment:

  1. Man, it's been a long time since I read that book in grad school. I think you've just proven to me that I need to go back through it and mine for ideas. Thanks for posting this.