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This module contains suggestions for how to read a variety of texts generally, with special emphasis on issues of authorship, ownership and the historical and legal context.

Some tips for reading...

Leave yourself time.

The most important rule for actually getting something out of the reading is to leave yourself time not only to read the text, butto think about it, and to ask questions about it. Plan ahead, budget a couple of hours, and if only takes 30 minutes to read,use the rest of the time to consider the text, to reread parts, to pose questions, or to compare it with other texts.

Take notes.

There are many styles of taking notes. Some people copy down quotations in order to remember them,some people make maps or hierarchies, some people write their own thoughts about what they've read. Notes should servetwo purposes: they should allow you to remember what you read without having to re-read the whole thing, and theyshould serve as a basis for discussion in class and for your own writing. Figure out for yourself how to achieve this.Bring your notes and the text to class for discussion, so that you can add to them or annotate them duringdiscussion.

Know what you are reading.

Do not just start. In this class (Anth 321/Clas 311) there are a lot of different kinds of texts, and we will read them both for whatthey say and examples of forms of authorship and ownership. This requires a zen-like attitude in which you read a text and thinkabout it at the same time. Do not simply pass your eyes over the text and pronounce it read, but sit down before the text andanswer some preliminary questions; figure out what it is, why we're reading it, then read it. Always familiarize yourself withthe text before you begin. If it's not clear what it is, ask one of the instructors or use a trusty friend: the library. Try toanswer these questions before you begin:

  • What era is it from? What year?
  • Does it have an author? multiple authors? An institution as the author? An editor? A translator? Acommentator? Is it a letter, is it written for a particular person? A particular audience?
  • Where was it written? Where was it published? If it's online, where did it come from? Who put it online andwhy?
  • Are you reading an "original" version? Is it abridged, collected, adumbrated, interpolated, translated,edited? Are there other texts by the other? Other versions?
  • What kind of work is it? Poetry, law, commentary on something else? scholarly study? History? Legal document?Offical document?
  • How long is the work? Are you reading a section of it? Do you know which section and why?

Make a time-line.

Go back to the question, "when was it written?" In this class we will read works that span some 2500years. That's a lot of time. You won't be tested on dates and times, but if you make a mistake, it's likely you will beridiculed, or at least publically corrected. These details are important--not in themselves-- but so that you can keep track ofother more general discussions.

  • Make a time line for yourself. In fact, make several. Some issues will cluster around small time periods,others will be empty. Some issues might need to be on separate time lines (i.e. legal changes vs. technical ones).
  • Use the timeline as an aid to memory, not as a way of making arguments. Chronology is important, but it isn'tthat important

Think about authorship and ownership

As we progress in the class, you will learn more about these issues, and will be presented with more and more texts meant todemonstrate different issues. Begin to ask yourelf:

  • What is the legal status of this text? Does it have an owner-- is the owner different than theauthor(s)? What kind of property laws govern it?
  • Is it an anomalous text? Does it stand out for some reason other than what it says?
  • Is the author aware of the first two issues? Does the text refer to its own status as an object?
  • Is the text "valuable" (whatever that might mean)? What makes it so?

Coordinate with other texts.

Do not read each text in isolation. Go back and forth between texts. The readings for this class havebeen carefully selected in order to produce surprising comparisons and connections. If you read each text in isolationand expect enlightenment, you will be disappointed, alone and confused. Do not lose faith, however, because there is always aparty in your text, you just need to find it.

  • Do the texts explicitly refer to each other? How?
  • Do they implicitly refer? Is it assumed that you have read something else?
  • Are there "intertextual" references? (remember your timeline, generally texts only refer in one temporaldirection!) What is the nature of this reference?
  • What are the "common" texts referred to? Are there things the author assumes "everyone knows"? What are they anddo you know them? How can you find out what is "commonly known" vs. what is an obscure reference or inside joke?

Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Text as property/property as text. OpenStax CNX. Feb 10, 2004 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10217/1.7
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