Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine / Volume 2, Number 3 / March 1, 1995 / Page 5


Academic Dispute

by Nancy Kaplan

The academic work surrounding culture demands dispute, especially in those academic domains where knowledge doesn't so much accumulate as shift its focus and terms. This is the arena of cultural debate, where paradoxically the classicists Jay David Bolter and Richard Lanham greet the changes they foresee with a sense of easy acceptance and, often, a captivating delight, while the scholars of English literature and Media Ecology Myron Tuman and Neil Postman respond to these same changes by sounding notes of caution and, often, of deep despair.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, versions or portions of Bolter's and Lanham's books can be had in electronic formats as well as on paper. Not so the books by Tuman and Postman.

It really makes no difference whether you visit first with those bringing glad tidings and then with those publishing jeremiads, or vice versa. In the end ....

You could probably just skip the details of the academic argument and go straight to what I think is at stake in this dispute.

This page is part of the article, "E-literacies: Politexts, Hypertexts and Other Cultural Formations in the Late Age of Print."

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