The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Navigation: Quick Links

Rafters and skylights in the English Building




Colloquium Archive

Myron Tuman

Name: Myron Tuman, Department of English, University of Alabama

Presentation Title: "Vico, the Web, and the 'Barbarism of Reflectin': Speculations on the Origins and Future of Language Study."

Date: October 10, 1996

Abstract

Extending his argument in Word Perfect and drawing upon material in his new SUNY work Resisting, this talk discusses the intersections between Vico's theories and World Wide Web technologies. Tuman argues that Vico is a key figure in placing imaginative language and metaphor at the foundation of the humanities, and thus Vico provides us with an interesting perspective on how our work is affected (helped or hurt) by technological changes such at the WWW. Some of the key questions that Tuman's talk addresses are: Is technology helping us to become more or less literate? What in fact is the connection between knowledge and literacy and between literacy and ignorance? Do new technologies like the Web help us to extend our technological control over the world, and what, if anything, might we lose in gaining such control? What insights into such questions might we get by looking at the specultions of a radical conservative like Vico?