The exam will take place in class on Wednesday, October 3. You will have one hour and twenty minutes. This exam will count for 30% of your final grade.
Bring an exam book to the exam. We will take these in before the exam and redistribute them randomly.
A. Short Answer Section
You will be given five of the following to identify or define briefly with examples (10 points)
- whig theory of history
- technological determinism
- The Ordinary
- Robert Boyle
- Royal Society
- "ceci tuera çela"
B. Essay questions.
You will be given three questions from the following list, from which you must chose two. You will be given one more compulsory question not on this list. References to the reading, where appropriate, should be used when possible. (30 points each; 90 point total)
- Briefly outline a circumstance in which the following could be defined as an information technology: t-shirt, sneaker, tree, mirror, lantern, necktie
- How does what we know about the emergence of Chinese and Korean printing change our understanding of the 'print revolution' and its consequences in the West.
- Why could a semasiographic (ie, ideographic) system of communication not reproduce all the functions of a glottographic writing system?
- Give an example of a semasiographic (i.e., ideographic) symbol system used now or at some time in the past. Why could such a system not reproduce all the functions of a glottographic writing system?
- Explain the technical advantages of the codex over the scroll. Explain why these may not be enough to explain the replacement of the scroll for most communications.
- How have some cultures, such as the Somalis', been able to "leapfrog" the transition to literacy?
- Robert Darnton writes, "It makes no sense to separate printed from oral and written modes of communication, as we casually do when we speak of 'print culture,' because they were all bound together in a multi-media system." Justify this claim, giving examples drawn from both the historical setting Darnton describes and contemporary social life.