Ong's Orality-Literacy Publications
While Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the
Word is Walter J. Ong's most famous work on oral-written-print-electronic
contrasts, Orality and Literacy was never meant to be the capstone
to Ong's work as many have taken it to be. As part of the New Accents
series, Orality and Literacy was intended to be an objective
exposition of significant developments in its field up to the present
as well as an account of its author's own views on the matter
(General Editor's Preface, x). In short, Orality and Literacy
should be read as Ong's attempt to write an introductory text that summarized
the field as it existed in 1982. While the book does foreground Ong's
own ideas, there's much of his own work which he leaves out, and since
his was unable to provide Routledge with the asked for updated material
for the 2002 second edition, Ong's own reworkings of orality-literacy
contrasts over the following 20 years are unknown to those who limit
their reading to that book.
While Ong's many volumes of collected essays, including
the four volume Faith and Contexts and The Ong Reader,
both edited by Thomas J. Farrell and Paul A. Soukup, are excellent resources
for moving beyond Orality and Literacy, none of them focus specifically
on Ong's work on oral-written-print-electronic contrasts but span a
number of Ong's interests. Therefore, I have compiled these bibliographies
to help those who wish to focus on Ong's work in orality-literacy contrasts.
I provide both a long version,
which seeks to be comprehensive but not exhaustive, and a short
version for those looking for readings to supplement Orality
and Literacy. They long are organized chronologically rather than
alphabetically to better represent the evolution of Ong's thought.
I want to stress that these bibliographies are not exhaustive,
and they do not necessarily list the full publication history of each
item. Intentionally left out are Ong's numerous book reviews and most
of his review essays, many of which are excellent, focused discussions
not just of the books being reviewed but the field itself. Likewise,
the short bibliography is not intended to be a must-read
or best of list of essays, but rather is a sampling of Ong's
essays intended to extend the ideas found in Orality and Literacy.
Those seeking a comprehensive bibliography of Ong's publications will
need to wait until for Thomas Walsh's definitive Ong bibliography, which
should be published online later this year.
Finally, those looking for overviews of Ong's work should
see Farrell's introduction to An Ong Reader, Soukup's Walter
J. Ong, S.J.: A Retrospective, and Strate's A Media Ecology
Review, and those looking for a more detailed introductions should
read Farrell's Walter Ong's Contributions to Cultural Studies.
Farrell, Thomas J. Introduction. An Ong Reader: Challenges for Further
Inquiry. Ed. Thomas J. Farrell and Paul A Soukup. Cresskill: Hampton
---. Walter Ong's Contributions to Cultural Studies: The Phenomenology
of the Word and I-Thou Communication. Cresskill: Hampton Press,
Soukup, Paul A., S.J. Walter J. Ong, S.J.: A Retrospective.
Communication Research Trends 23.1 (2004): 3-23.
Strate, Lance. A Media Ecology Review. Communication Research Trends 23.2 (2004): 3-48.