MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online - Michigan State University
This panelist is currently involved with in the organization and implementation of The National Gallery of the Spoken Word (NGSW). NGSW is a significant, carefully organized on-line repository of spoken word collections. A collaborative project among the humanities, engineering, and library science, the gallery, now in its second year of development, provides the first large-scale repository of its kind through the identification and digital preservation of crucial materials in tape libraries throughout the United States. It is pioneering developments in information storage as it creates a recognized set of standards for preservation and access, and constructs sophisticated and integrated search mechanisms. As important, the collaborators on this project are identifying a complex set of opportunities for research, teaching and outreach, because the most significant measure of the value of the project will be the users it attracts. High school teachers, college professors, government officials, journalists and engaged citizens will therefore be crucial collaborators in the creation of the NGSW. The NGSW will help create a history of sound in the age of its virtual reproducibility.
By bringing the spoken word across the Internet into living rooms, classrooms, research laboratories, libraries, and government offices, and by delivering the transformative power of language, rhetoric and speech via the Internet, the NGSW has the potential to create a worldwide virtual community. However, the difference between the classical polis and its online equivalent will be the potentially democratic and profoundly chaotic nature of online communities. This process is already occurring around the world, as is recorded by studies like Rhonda and Michael Hauben's Netizens, but it has been based primarily on writing: e-mail, online chat, bulletin boards. As Internet telephony becomes more feasible and popular, more and more online community-building discourse is likely to take the form of speech, but a form of speech that is without memory or history. This speaker will explore the implications of putting historical voices online and the possibilities for creating context and historical meaning for voices within virtual communities.
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July 13, 2001 - July 16, 2001
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