Orality and Literacy: Reflections across Disciplines

Edited by Keith Thor Carlson, Kristina Fagan, and Natalia Khanenko-Friesen

© 2011

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.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 344 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED APR 2011

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Quick Overview

Orality and Literacy investigates the interactions of the oral and the literate through close studies of particular cultures at specific historical moments.

Orality and Literacy: Reflections across Disciplines

Edited by Keith Thor Carlson, Kristina Fagan, and Natalia Khanenko-Friesen

© 2011

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.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 344 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "Drawing closely on contemporary oral traditions, archival documents, and orally narrated life stories, Orality and Literacy not only emphasizes the contact zones in which oral and written forms co-exist, but also the slippery, dynamic tension that changes their relationship. This thought-provoking book will appeal to students and scholars thinking about similar intersections in their work."


    Julie Cruikshank, Professor Emerita, University of British Columbia
  • Author Information

    Keith Thor Carlson is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan.



    Kristina Fagan is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Saskatchewan.



    Natalia Khanenko-Friesen is an associate professor of cultural anthropology and the head of the Department of Religion and Culture at St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction Keith Thor Carlson, Kristina Fagan and Natalia Shostak

    Boasting, Toasting and Truthtelling J. Edward Chamberlin

    Orality About Literacy: The 'Black and White' of Salish History Keith Thor Carlson

    The Philosopher's Art: Ring Composition and Classification in Plato's Sophist and Hipparchus Twyla Gibson

    The Social Lives of Sedna and Sky Woman: The Textualization of Stories from Inuit and Kanien'kahake/Mohawk Oral Traditions Susan Gingell

    From Family Lore to a People's History: The Role of Oral Culture in Ukrainian Claims to the Canadian Prairies Natalia Khanenko-Friesen

    Private Stories in Aboriginal Literature Kristina Fagan

    For Their Own Good: Literacy, Orality, Authority, and Hypocrisy in the Laozi / Gary Arbuckle

    Unstable Texts and Modal Approaches to the Written Word in Medieval European Ritual Magic Frank Klaassen

    A Tagalog Awit of the 'Holy War' against the United States, 1899-1902 Reynaldo Illeto

    Telling the Untold: Representations of Ethnic and Regional Identities in Ukrainian Women's Autobiographies Oksana Kis

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