INFOSYS 182AC. American Cultures: Print, Literacy, Power: To 1900
     Mary Kay Duggan, Dept. of Music; School of Information Management and Systems,

Fall 2005, 3 units, MWF 11, 123 Wheeler Hall. Office Hours: Mon. 4-5; Fri. 10-11,      202 Morrison Hall.
Required Texts Walter Ong.  Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word.  NY: Routledge, 1982. Reader.  Harriet Beecher Stowe.  Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Home | Reader 2005

Date              Content                                                                                              Reading                    


Introduction to the course and the field of the history of reading, printing, technology, and cultural studies


Wed. Aug. 31

Use Ong to explore the nature of oral and print societies (European colonialists, Native Americans, African Americans; Asian Americans and Chicano/Latinos in the West).

Ong, Orality, especially Chap. 3-5

Sept. 2

Ong, psychodynamics of orality; apply psychodynamics to Reader, #1, Oratory of N. Amer. Indians.

Ong, Orality, especially Chap. 3-5

Sept. 5

Holiday. Labor Day


Wed. Sept. 7

Ong. Slave tales, the trickster. Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus . Tar Baby without dialect. Native American trickster tales (Wile E. Coyote)

Reader #2, Levine

Sept. 9

Levine, levels of meaning in Br'er Rabbit; Graff

 Reader #2, Levine

Sept. 12

Literacy in America.


Sept. 14

Review for quiz: Ong, slave tales, literacy. Discussion examples, Indian orations.


Sept. 16



Sept. 19

Intro. to the Massachusetts colonists and Native Americans.

 Reader #5, Simmons

Sept. 21

 Pocahontas and John Smith, reality and fiction.

 Reader #6, Gleach

Sept. 23

Missionary goals and printing.  John Eliot. (Winship: The Cambridge Press, 1638-1692; 1945)

Reader #9, Eliot

Sept. 26

Film: a seventeenth-century press (The Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp).

Handout in class

Sept. 28

The captivity narrative, Eliot

Reader #8, Wyss

Sept. 30

Education in early America. History of American Education Web Project, Colonial Period, about 1600-1776; Early National Period, about 1776-1840, Common School Period, about 1840-1880. Colonial education, hornbook, New England Primer, 1805 edition, and another edition of 1807 , dame school, etc. discussion and pictures, title and a lesson. Poor Richard's Almanack, 1733, ( text in modern type), Farmer's Almanack, 1795.


Oct. 3

Education, case studies

Reader #11, "To Learn Another Way."

Reader #12, Cornelius. Reader #13, Sandos.


Class discussion. Review





Oct. 12

Uncle Tom's Cabin and spin-offs on the web. Also Library of Congress material on Uncle Tom's Cabin. Abolitionist newspapers, though not the National Era. Historic maps.

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Oct. 14

Publishing a bestseller. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Reader #14, Coultrap-McQuin

Oct. 17

Class discussion. Slave narratives.

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Oct. 19

Information infrastructure. The System of Cities, 1790-1840.

Reader #15, Pred

Oct. 24

Information infrastructure shaping America, the colonies

Reader #16, Brown

Oct. 26

Information infrastructure shaping America, a case study: New York City, 1770-1810.  The industrial age.

Reader #17, White Reader #18, John

Oct. 28



Oct. 31



Nov. 2

Newspapers and periodicals: Californios. Joaquin Murrietta

Reader #19, Almaguer.

Reader #20, Pitt

Nov. 4

Web research for the Final Project.  Notes on final project , project ideas. Newspapers, Indian.

Reader 21, Murphy

Nov. 7

Newspapers, Black, Chinese (Reader 23).  The image in print (engraving, woodcut, photograph, newspaper, magazine, sheet music, advertising, poster).

Reader 22, Hutton; Reader 24, Bunch.

Nov. 9

Edward S. Curtis, photographer of Native Americans.   Case study.

Videos: Anne Makepeace, "Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians" (2000) "In the Land of the War Canoes" (1914)

Nov. 11

Review. Turn in final project topic and abstract. Notes on final project.


Nov. 14



Nov. 16

Introduction: California and Print; The Chinese in California

 Reader #25, Takaki

Nov. 18

The Chinese in America

Reader #25, Takaki

Nov. 21

The American image of the Chinese and politics

Reader #26, Miller

Nov. 23

A missionary to the Chinese speaks for them in print: Otis Gibson.

Reader #27, Gibson

Nov. 25

Holiday. Thanksgiving.


Nov. 28

Class discussion.


Nov. 30



Dec. 2



Dec. 5-7-9

Student presentations summarizing final projects


Dec. 12

Final paper due. Either turn it in in class on Friday or slide it under door, Room 202 Morrison Hall, before 5PM.