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More Than WordsTransforming Script, Agency, and Collective Life in Bali$
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Richard Fox

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501725340

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501725340.001.0001

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Writing and the Idea of Ecology

Writing and the Idea of Ecology

(p.26) Chapter 2 Writing and the Idea of Ecology
More Than Words

Richard Fox

Cornell University Press

Chapter Two focuses on the idea of cultural heritage, as embodied in recent debates over the place of Balinese language instruction in the national curriculum. As with the examples from the previous chapter, public discussion of the curriculum was characterized by a juxtaposition of contrasting assumptions regarding the nature of Balinese script and the uses to which it might be put. A series of examples are presented to show how each of these styles of writing was allied to a different style of reasoning. With Balinese letters caught between competing articulations of agency, materiality and what it means to be ‘alive’, the question becomes one of specifying ‘writing’ as an object of study. Extrapolating from the scholarship on language ecology, the chapter considers the argument for approaching writing as a practice embedded in a broader ‘way of life’—a concept that will itself turn out to be problematic.

Keywords:   writing, script, language ecology, cultural heritage, Bali, Indonesia

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