Oral Culture

Alan Sondheim inquired:

"I would be interested to know, if you can describe it, how an oral
culture plays out into theory, or does it? For books can also be
problematic loci of power."

Books can be very problematic loci of power. But how we would articulate
"oral culture" in the above case would be exceedingly problematic. One
thing required by the type of analysis Foucault employs is a manifest
material form of positivity. It seems that what we would attempt to
identify in the case of the oral is the emergence of what is spoken,
within its particular setting, encompassing the active relations
present, and describing in what ways these relations operate to constitute
the oral object. This, of course, would be a very difficult project to carry

However, I think Foucault delved into something close to this by
way of problematizing "confession." From this point on, Robert would be
the one to consult. Robert is a member of this list and has wanted to
discuss this issue for some time.

Yours in discourse,

Steven Meinking
The University Of Utah

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