In “Navigating Pathways: Oral Tradition and the Internet,” I focus on dynamic similarities between humankind’s oldest and newest communications media, and on the novel opportunities for understanding that this surprising analogy makes possible. Both oral tradition and Internet technology (OT and IT) work by providing a network of pathways to surf.
The article lies principally at the intersection of academic content and technology tools, but also has practical pedagogical implications, both for formal courses and for informal, self-initiated learning. The home sector is interdisciplinary: arts and humanities on the one hand, and social sciences on the other. The primary field of inquiry—studies in oral tradition—spans a consortium of individual disciplines, among them literature, languages and linguistics, anthropology, and folklore, with well-established applications in history, religion, philosophy, psychology, music, theatre, and other areas.