Summer 1999 Update
In this update of the first on-line bibliography of the works of Walter Ong, you will find annotations from new contributors. Graduate students in the History of Rhetoric class I taught in the spring worked diligently to read Ong’s work in depth and annotate articles in the bibliography. I also taught a class in Argumentation in the spring; twelve undergraduates brought enthusiasm to the task as they revised their annotations and re-read Ong again and again. This update lists their names and school affiliation. I thank each of these students for her and his efforts in taking on an assignment not frequently encountered in other classes.
Any annotations that do not have names attached belong either to me or my research assistant Molly Youngkin. As Molly continues her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University in Victorian Studies, she remains committed to this long-term Ong project. I am, as always, grateful for her fine collaboration and patience.
In recent months, two publications have appeared that visitors to this web site will be interested in reading. Dennis Weeks and Jane Hoogestraat’s collection of essays Time, Memory, and the Verbal Arts: Essays on the Thought of Walter Ong was published in December 1998. The essays in this volume address the relevance of Ong’s body of work at the end of the century provide a specific context for Ongian readings of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Faulkner, and Dylan Thomas. Electric Rhetoric: Classical Rhetoric, Oralism, and a New Literacy by Kathleen Welch at the University of Oklahoma was available from MIT Press in July 1999. This book not only uses Ong’s work as a foundational theory for understanding the history of rhetoric before Aristotle, it shows the implications of "secondary orality" (Ong’s coinage for the electronic word) in fresh and innovative ways. Welch incorporates Ong’s concepts to call for the humanities disciplines to claim their rightful place in the technological revolution. Her book also provides one more item to add to the Ong bibliography: the Foreword he wrote for it.
In summer 1999, a community of annotators is now a reality.
Once again, I invited other scholars to join us and add to the growing
list of publications both on-line and in print to celebrate the legacy
of Walter J. Ong.