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International Symposium: Towards a new relationship with the written word

Stevan Harnad harnad at cogprints.soton.ac.uk
Mon Oct 15 07:09:50 EST 2001

Screens and networks: towards a new relationship with the written word
(October 2001-March 2002)

*	A virtual symposium on the Web, at www.text-e.org
*	Organized by the Bibliothèque publique d'information (BPI)
        Centre Pompidou, the Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS) and EURO-EDU
*	in association with GiantChair.com
*	Sponsored by UNESCO

New Information and Communication Technologies (NICT) are transforming
our world as radically as did the invention of the printing press. How
will this affect the written word and its uses in society? There may be
no immediate answers to these questions, but we can -and should-
investigate the issues involved. In this context, the Bibliothque
publique d'information (BPI), the Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS and
EHESS), the non-profit organization EURO-EDU and GiantChair, have
decided to set up a virtual symposium in French, Italian and English.
Launched on October 15th, 2001, it will focus on the impact of NITC on
our relationship with information and the written word.

This international symposium should contribute to enriching current
debates about the emergence of hybrid tools of communication (e-books,
Internet and e-mail) and the social changes that accompany them. The
contributors papers will be published directly on the
symposiums host site, www.text-e.org and will be accessible from
the BPIs main site (www.bpi.fr). It will involve theorists and
other professionals affected by changes in their professional and
personal lives brought about by e-mail and the Internet, and it will
examine the impact of these technologies on reading, journalism,
scholarship, libraries, archives, literature and so on. The symposium
will provide participants with a forum for the discussion of all points
of view.

Through this program, we aim at once to engage in a collective research
project, to enact the new relationship to the written word and to stage
a public event using Web-based communication. The result will be
published in book as well as in electronic format.

The focal point of the project is the establishment of a Web-based
event, beginning on October 15th, 2001 and ending in March 2002.
Ten contributors, including theorists and those involved in new
information technologies, will be invited to submit a paper for
discussion. A new paper will be published on the site every two weeks.

Each paper will be discussed on-line for the two weeks following its
publication by some forty participants, comprising the ten contributors
and thirty guests. Discussions will be chaired by the organizers.

These papers, together with the ensuing discussions, will be made
available to the public. Those wishing to follow the symposium will be
able to register, receive the papers by e-mail and participate in a
forum.  Initial perspectives on the event will be debated at the Paris
book fair, the Salon du livre, in March 2002.

15-31 October 2001
	1. Readers and Reading in the Age of Electronic Texts (Roger
	Chartier, EHESS, Paris)

1-14 November 2001
	2. What the Internet tells us about the Real Nature of the Book
	(Roberto Casati, Institut Jean Nicod, C.N.R.S., Paris)

15-30 November 2001
	3. Skyreading/writing in the Post-Gutenbergian Galaxy (Stevan
	Harnad, Behavioral and Brain Sciences)

1-14 December 2001
	4. Digital Journalism: Virtual Journalism? (Bruno Patino, Le
	Monde Interactif)

15-31 December 2001
	5. Personal and Professional Conversation (Theodore Zeldin,

1-14 January 2002
	6. Reading: The Digital Future (Jason Epstein, Random House)

15-31 January 2002
	7. Babel and the Vintage Selection: Libraries in the Digital
	Age (Bibliothque publique dinformation, Centre Pompidou)

1-14 February 2002
	8. Reading without Writing (Dan Sperber, Institut Jean Nicod,
C.N.R.S., Paris)

15-28 February 2002
	9. The New Architecture of Information (Stephana Broadbent and
	Francesco Cara, IconMedialab, Paris)

1-14 March 2002
	10. Authors and Authority (Umberto Eco, University of Bologna)

15 March 2002


The Bibliothque publique dinformation is a major French publicic
reference library, providing the general public with open access to
virtually all of its holdings, whatever the type of media. In addition
to Internet access, the library offers on-site consultation of books,
newspapers and magazines, documentary films, records, language-learning
methods and software programs covering all fields of knowledge.
Holdings are constantly updated, and librarians are available to help
readers locate material. The library organizes training on the use of
NICTs, especially the Internet, as well as talks, screenings and
exhibitions.  www.bpi.fr E-mail address: bpi-info at bpi.fr

Danielle CHATEL 
Gérald GRUNBERG, Director 

The BPIs studies and research department carries out and/or
steers sociological studies on books, reading and cultural practises.
Extending beyond the immediate context of the BPI, the department plays
a dual role of carrying out assessments and research. At the request of
the Direction du Livre et de la Lecture (DLL), it initiates and
monitors studies, offers expert services outside the BPI and conducts
its own internal research on subjects of interest to both the BPI and
other public libraries. It also acts as a publisher and heads the
&lsquostudies and research collection of the BPIs

Christophe EVANS 
Françoise GAUDET

The Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS) brings together researchers working on
the relationship between the cognitive and the social sciences. The
main areas of study include philosophy, linguistics, cognitive
anthropology and political science. While philosophy is the leading
discipline, the groups investigations go beyond pure theory, as
the Institute also aims at reconciling conceptual thinking with an
empirical approach.

Roberto CASATI

The recently created EURO-EDU (Association Europenne pour le
Dveloppement de lEnseignement Suprieur et de la Recherche sur Internet
- the European association for the development of higher education
and research on the Internet), a non-profit organization, is devoted to
studying the impact of NICTs on the development and transmission of
knowledge. It aims at developing web tools, web workshops, discussion
groups and research papers around the changes of educational systems
and the diffusion of culture.

Gloria ORIGGI (Chair)

Screens, networks, the distribution of knowledge and the transformation
of our relationship with the written word are all key issues for
GiantChair, which specializes in helping publishing houses, libraries,
universities and academic communities with the implementation of new
methods of publishing and distribution. With a presence on both sides
of the Atlantic, GiantChair is playing an active role in compiling a
catalogue of digital publications from such publishers as the
Paris-based Eyrolles, Arcade Publishing and Seven Stories Press in New
York, and is already involved in the distribution of the first ebooks
from these publishers.

info at giantchair.com
Chloé BENAROYA, partner. 
Pierre COHEN-TANUGI, Administrateur.
Cory MCCLOUD, Président.
Aalam WASSEF , partner.


Noga Arikha has recently completed a doctorate at the Warburg
Institute, London. She is a historian of ideas with an interest in the
philosophy of mind, the cognitive sciences and the history of life
sciences. She is also concerned with the establishment of dialogues
between disciplines, between the academic and the public spheres, and
between the sciences and the humanities.

Gloria Origgi is researcher in philosophy at the University of Bologna,
where she teaches philosophy and cognitive science. In 2000 she founded
the EURO-EDU Association for developing Internet-based research
projects. She is author of essays in philosophy of mind and
epistemology. She is also in the faculty of the Graduate School in
Information and Communication Technologies Almaweb, Bologna Italy.

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