Working Bibliography

The Orality/Literacy Heuristic: A Collective Working Bibliography

[This bibliography-in-progress has been compiled to date (12/5/13) by Paula McDowell from the suggestions of participants in the June 2013 Folger Faculty Workshop on "The Orality/Literacy Heuristic." Special thanks to Katie King for re-organizing it chronologically to show the evolution of these conversations.  At this point, Elyse Martin will be taking over as our Bibliographer-in-Chief. Please send all corrections to and additional suggestions for this list to Elyse at She will update the document and include a copy in our Workshop folders in June.]

1734. Le Brun, "A Method to Learn to Design the Passions." London: J. Huggonson, 1734.
1929. Jakobson, Roman & Bogatyrev, Petr. “On the Boundary between Studies of Folklore and Literature,” in Readings in Russian Poetics: Formalist and Structuralist Views, ed. Ladislav Matejka and Krystyna Pomorska (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1978) 91 – 93.
1960. Lord, Albert B.  The Singer of Tales.  1960.  2nd. edn. ed. Stephen Mitchell and Gregory Nagy.  Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2000.
1962. McLuhan, Marshall.  The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man.  Toronto: University of Toronto P, 1962.
1963. Havelock, Eric A.  Preface to Plato.  Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap/Harvard UP, 1963.
1968. Goody, Jack.  ed.  Literacy in Traditional Societies.  Cambridge UP, 1968. [especially Goody and Watt, "The Consequences of Literacy," 27-68]
1971. Parry, Adam, ed. and intro.  The Making of Homeric Verse: The Collected Papers of Milman Parry.  Oxford: Clarendon P, 1971. 
1974. Bauman, Richard & Sherzer, Joel, eds.  Explorations in the Ethnography of Speaking. Cambridge University Press; 2 edition 1989.
1977. Goody, Jack.  The Domestication of the Savage Mind.  Cambridge UP, 1977.
1979. Eisenstein, Elizabeth L.  The Printing Press As An Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformation in Early-Modern Europe.  Cambridge UP, 1979; in one volume 1980. 
1982. Ong, Walter J.  Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word.  London: Methuen, 1982.
1984. Lewalski, Barbara. Protestant Poetics and the Seventeenth Century Religious Lyric. Princeton. 1984.
1984. Street, Brian V.  Literacy in Theory and Practice.  Cambridge UP, 1984.
1986. Baumann, Gerd, ed.  The Written Word: Literacy in Transition.  Oxford: Clarendon P, 1986. [esp. essay by Keith Thomas on "The Meaning of Literacy in Early Modern England," 97-131]
1986. Havelock, Eric A.  The Muse Learns to Write: Reflections on Orality and Literacy from Antiquity to the Present.  New Haven and London: Yale UP, 1986.
1986. Swearingen, Jan.  "Literate Rhetors and their Illiterate Audiences: the Orality of Early Literacy." Pre/Text 7 (1986): special issue devoted to "The Literacy/Orality Wars," ed. Swearingen. [see also introduction by Havelock & concluding interview of Havelock by Swearingen]
1986. Swearingen, Jan.  "Oral Hermeneutics During the Transition to Literacy: The Contemporary Debate." Cultural Anthropology, 1 (1986) 138-56.
1987. Goody, Jack.  The Interface Between the Written and the Oral.  Cambridge, 1987.
1987. Graff, Harvey J.  The Legacies of Literacy: Continuities and Contradictions in Western Culture and Society.  Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 1987.
1988. Finnegan, Ruth.  Literacy and Orality: Studies in the Technology of Communication.  Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988.
1989. Patterson, Annabel. Shakespeare and the Popular Voice.  Blackwell, 1989.
1990. Stock, Brian.  Listening for the Text: On the Uses of the Past.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990.
1991. Havelock, Eric A.  "The oral-literate equation: a formula for the modern mind."  In Olson and Torrance, eds., Literacy and Orality, 11-27.
1991. King, Katie. "Bibliography and a Feminist Apparatus of Literary Production." TEXT 5: Transactions of the Society for Textual Scholarship (1991): 91-103. PDF
1991. Love, Harold.  Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England.  Oxford UP, 1991.
1991. Olson, David R., and Nancy Torrance, eds.  Literacy and Orality.  Cambridge UP, 1991.
1991. Rivers, Isabel. Reason, Grace, and Sentiment: A Study of the Language of Religion and Ethics in England, 1660-1780. Cambridge. Vol. 1: 1991. Vol. 2: 2000.
1991. Watt, Tessa.  Cheap Print and Popular Piety, 1550-1640.  Cambridge UP, 1991. 
1993. Fliegelman, Jay. Declaring Independence: Jefferson, Natural Language, and the Culture of Performance. Stanford 1993.
1993. Schafer, Murray.  The Tuning of the World.  New York: Knopf, 1977.  Repr. as The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World.  Rochester, Vt.: Destiny, 1993.
1994. Boone, E., and W. D. Mignolo, eds.  Writing Without Words: Alternative Literacies in Mesoamerica and the Andes.  Durham, NC: Duke UP, 1994.
1994. Fox, Adam.  "Ballads, Libels and Popular Ridicule in Jacobean England." Past and Present, 145 (1994), 47-83.
1994. Hudson, Nicholas.  Writing and European Thought 1600-1830.  Cambridge UP, 1994.
1996. King, Katie. Seventeenth-Century Quaker Women. Folger Library Institute on the Graphic Revolution in Early Modern Europe, June 29, 1996; at:  
1997. Fox, Adam.  "Rumour, News and Popular Public Opinion in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England." The Historical Journal 40 (1997), 592-620.
1998. Balkin, J.M. & Levinson, Sanford. "Law as Performance" (1998).
1998. Johns, Adrian.  The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making.  Chicago and London: U of Chicago P, 1998.
1998. Wise, Jennifer. Dionysus Writes: The Invention of Theatre in Ancient Greece. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1998.  Esp. Intro. and ch. 1, “The ABCs of Writing”
1999. Biakolo, Emevwo. "On the Theoretical Foundations of Orality and Literacy."  Research in African Literatures 30.2 (1999): 42-65.
1999. McKenzie, D. F.  Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts.  Cambridge UP, 1999.
2000. Fox, Adam.  Oral and Literate Culture in England 1500-1700.  Oxford: Clarendon P, 2000.
2000. Larson, Rebecca. Daughters of Light: Quaker Women Preaching and Prophesying in the Colonies and Abroad 1700-1775. University of North Carolina. 2000. (especially Chapter Six, “From Witches to Celebrated Preachers”).
2000. Lord, Albert B.  The Singer of Tales.  1960.  2nd. edn. ed. Stephen Mitchell and Gregory Nagy.  Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2000.
2000. Rivers, Isabel. Reason, Grace, and Sentiment: A Study of the Language of Religion and Ethics in England, 1660-1780. Cambridge. Vol. 1: 1991. Vol. 2: 2000.
2000. Schmidt, Leigh Eric.  Hearing Things: Religion, Illusion, and the American Enlightenment.  Cambridge, Mass., and London: Harvard UP, 2000.
2002. Eisenstein, Elizabeth L., Anthony Grafton, and Adrian Johns.  Forum, "How Revolutionary Was the Print Revolution?" American Historical Review 107 (2002).
2002. Fox, Adam, and Daniel Woolf, eds.  The Spoken Word: Oral Culture in Britain, 1500-1850.  Manchester UP, 2002.  [especially the Introduction, Nicholas Hudson's essay on the idea of oral tradition, Walsham on Catholicism, et al.]
2002. Hudson, Nicholas.  "Constructing Oral Tradition: The Origins of the Concept in Enlightenment Intellectual Culture."  In Fox and Woolf, eds., The Spoken Word, 240-55.
2002. Ong, Walter J.  An Ong Reader: Challenges for Further Inquiry.  Ed. Thomas J. Farrell and Paul A. Soukup.  Creskill, NJ: Hampton P, 2002.
2004. King, Katie. "Demonstrations & Experiments in Epistemological Decorum: seventeenth-century Quaker writing technologies and the Scientific Revolution" (2004). (For Folger Colloquium: Technologies of the Literal.) Available:   
2004. King, Katie. Writing technologies: an introduction. Manuscript in circulation in print and online before and around 2004; at:   
2005. Goring, Paul. The Rhetoric of Sensibility.  Cambridge UP, 2005. 
2005. McCarty, Willard. “Modeling.” Humanities Computing.  Palgrave, 2005. 20-71. 
2006. Keilen, Sean.  Vulgar Eloquence: on the Renaissance Invention of English Literature. Yale UP, 2006.
2006. McDowell, Paula. “Defoe and the Contagion of the Oral: Modeling Media Shift in A Journal of the Plague Year.” Publications of the Modern Language Association, 121:1 (Jan. 2006) 87-106.
2007. Brantley, Jessica.  Reading in the Wilderness: Private Devotion and Public Performance in Late Medieval England.  Chicago UP, 2007.
2007. Zunshine, Lisa. “Why Jane Austen Was Different, And Why We May Need Cognitive Science to See It.” Style 41.3 (2007): 275-99.
2008. Burke, Peter, and Roy Porter, eds.  The Social History of Language.  Cambridge UP, 1987.
2008. Cheney, Patrick.  Shakespeare's Literary Authorship.  Cambridge UP, 2008.
2008. Echard, Sian.  “Coda. The Ghost in the Machine: Digital Avatars of Medieval Manuscripts.” Printing the Middle Ages.  U. of Pennsylvania, 2008. 198-217.
2008. Liu, Alan, "Imagining the New Media Encounter."  In Ray Siemens and Susan Schreibman, eds., A Companion to Digital Literary Studies.  Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.  
2008. McCarty, Willard. “What’s Going On?” Literary & Linguistic Computing 23:3 (2008) 253-261.
2008. Peters, Julie Stone. "Legal Performance Good and Bad." Law, Culture and the Humanities (2008), 4: 179-200.
2008. McLane, Maureen N. Balladeering, Minstrelsy and the Making of British Romantic Poetry. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008.
2008. Weinmann, Robert, and Douglas Bruster, eds.  Shakespeare and the Power of Performance: Stage and Page in the Elizabethan Theatre.  Cambridge UP, 2008.
2009. Handler, Richard.  “Erving Goffman and the Gestural Dynamics of Modern Selfhood.” In The Politics of Gesture: Historical Perspectives. Ed. Michael J. Braddick. Past and Present Supplement 4 (2009), 280-300.
2010. Brokaw, Galen. "Indigenous American Polygraphy and the Dialogic Model of Media." Ethnohistory 57 (2010).
2010. Brokaw, Galen. A History of the Khipu.  Cambridge UP, 2010.
2010. Cressy, David. Dangerous Talk. Oxford UP, 2010.
2010. Fumerton, Patricia, and Anita Guerrini with the assistance of Kris McAbee.  Ballads and Broadsides in Britain, 1500-1800.  Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010. 
2010. Fumerton, Patricia.  “Remembering by Dismembering: Databases, Archiving, and the Recollection of Seventeenth-Century Broadside Ballads.” In Fumerton & Guerrini, eds., Ballads and Broadsides, 13-34.
2010. Guillory, John. "Enlightening Mediation." In Siskin, Clifford, and William Warner, eds.  This Is Enlightenment. 2010.
2010. Marsh, Christopher. Music and Society in Early Modern England.  Cambridge UP, 2010.
2010. McDowell, Paula.  "'The Art of Printing Was Fatal': Print Commerce and the Idea of Oral Tradition in Long Eighteenth-Century Ballad Discourse."  In Fumerton, Guerrini, and McAbee, eds., Ballads and Broadsides, 35-56.
2010. McDowell, Paula.  "Mediating Media Past and Present: Toward a Genealogy of 'Print Culture' and 'Oral Tradition.'"  In Siskin and Warner, eds., This Is Enlightenment, 229-246.
2010. Siskin, Clifford, and William Warner, eds.  This Is Enlightenment.  Chicago: University of Chicago P, 2010.  [esp. essays by Guillory, McDowell, and McLane]
2011. De Vivo, Filippo, and Brian Richardson. "Scribal Culture in Italy, 1450-1700." Italian Studies 66 (2011).
2011. Foley, John Miles, founding ed., Oral Composition (Journal: Master Index: (especially Volume 26 No. 2, 2011: Festschrift for John Miles Foley.
2011. Fox, Adam.  "The Emergence of the Scottish Broadside Ballad in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries." Journal of Scottish Historical Studies 31 (2011), 169-194.
2011. Rivers, Isabel & Wykes, David L. eds. Dissenting Praise: Religious Dissent and the Hymn in England and Wales. Oxford. 2011.
2012. Drucker, Johanna. “Humanistic Theory and Digital Scholarship.” In Gold, ed., Debates in the Digital Humanities, 85-95.
2012. Fox, Adam.  "Vernacular Culture and Popular Customs in Early Modern England: Evidence from Thomas Machell’s Westmorland." Cultural and Social History 9 (2012), 329-47.
2012. Gold, Matthew, ed., Debates in the Digital Humanities.  U. of Minnesota, 2012.
2012. Horodowich, Elizabeth, ed.  Journal of Early Modern History 16 (2012): Special Issue dedicated to oral communication, with articles on early modern Italy, Europe and Vietnam.
2012. King, Katie.  "Khipu: design affections" (2012). PDF on DocSite; also available at:  
2012. Liu, Alan, “Where is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities?” In Gold, ed., Debates in the Digital Humanities, 490-509.
2012. McDowell, Paula.  "Ong and the Concept of Orality." Religion and Literature 44.2 (Autumn 2012), for Forum: "The Legacy of Walter J. Ong," forthcoming [proofs on DocSite]
2012. Ramsay, Stephen, and Geoffrey Rockwell.  “Developing Things: Notes toward an Epistemology of Building in the Digital Humanities.” In Gold, ed., Debates in the Digital Humanities, 75-84
2012. Rospocher, Massimo, ed.  Beyond the Public Sphere: Opinions, Publics, Spaces in Early Modern Europe.  Bologna, 2012.  Contains several essays on rumor and oral communication.
2012. Temple, Kathryn. Revised 18 November 2012. For presentation at "Reinterpreting Blackstone's 'Commentaries': the Evolution and Influence of a Seminal Text in National and International Context," Adelaide, Australia, 6 December 2013.
2013. Black, Andrew. "We Forget the Orator" from "Neutered Rhetoric: Representations of Orators in the Long Eighteenth Century." Dissertation 2013.
2013. Mulholland, James.  Sounding Imperial: Poetic Voice and the Politics of Empire 1730-1820. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 2013.
2013. Murphy, Kevin D., and Sally O’Driscoll, eds., Studies in Ephemera: Text and Image in Eighteenth-Century Print.  Bucknell UP, 2013. [contains essays by McDowell and Fox]
2013. Nelson, Ingrid. Premodern Media. 2013.