We’re off to a quick start, having heard back-to-back lectures on claims of inventions and technologies that have changed the face culture. On Wednesday, we talked about writing and the alphabet and examined whether or not history can be thought of as pre-alphabetic and post-alphabetic as some claimed. Today, we talked about Gutenberg and printing in Europe, China, and Korea and examined whether or not history should be thought of as pre-Gutenberg and post-Gutenberg as others claimed. And we’ve seen similarities and differences into the kinds of arguments being made and even some of the alleged consequences of these information technologies.
Next week we’ll be covering several topics that overlap in European history. On Monday, we’ll be discussing British coffee houses and the emergence of the a notion of “the public.” Yesterday, we added a link to the “navigation” section to the next class as a shortcut into the syllabus.
It was great to have a chance to talk to most of the groups today. The class tossed around a ton of interesting ideas that are all worthy of detailed research. So start to play with some ideas. See what sticks. Then narrow everything down and be ready on Wednesday to turn in your group’s proposal.
See you next week…