Thomas J. Farrell, Professor Emeritus

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This collection contains works by Thomas J. Farrell, Professor Emeritus from the Department of Writing Studies.

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    Thomas B. Edsall's June 12, 2024 Op-Ed Column on the Convicted Felon Trump, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version was not previously published., 2024) Farrell, Thomas
    In my wide-ranging 2,100-word review essay "Thomas B. Edsall's June 12, 2024 Op-Ed Column on the Convicted Felon Trump, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I highlight Edsall's column titled "Trump Would Be Gone if Only We Could . . . ," on the one hand, and, on the other, the work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955).
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    Charles Taylor's 2024 Book Cosmic Connections, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version was not previously published., 2024) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 93-page (double-spaced) review essay "Charles Taylor's 2024 Book Cosmic Connections, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I first highlight the life and work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955). Then I succinctly highlight two related books by the Canadian Catholic philosopher Charles Taylor (born in 1931; doctorate in philosophy, Oxford University, 1961): (1) The Language Animal: The Full Scope of the Human Linguistic Capacity (2016); and (2) Cosmic Connections: Poetry in the Age of Disenchantment (2024) -- both published by Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. My list of "References" runs from page 74 to page 93 -- because I frequently list related works of interest in the text as I proceed.
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    Hartmut Rosa's 2019 Book Resonance, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2024-05) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 3,000-word review essay "Hartmut Rosa's 2019 Book Resonance, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I highlight, on the one hand, Rosa's 2019 book Resonance: A Sociology of Our Relationship to the World, translated by James C. Wagner (Polity; orig. German ed., 2016) and, on the other hand, the mature work from the early 1950s onward of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955).
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    Doris Kearns Goodwin's 2024 Book An Unfinished Love Story, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2024-04) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 7,675-word review essay "Doris Kearns Goodwin's 2024 Book An Unfinished Love Story, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I succinctly highlight Dr. Doris Kearns Goodwin's 2024 book An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s (Simon & Schuster) in the opening and the closing sections of my review essay. In the lengthy middle section, I construct my own personal history of the 1960s by highlighting the work of my former teacher in the 1960s, the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955) of Saint Louis University. In addition, in the lengthy middle section of my review essay, I highlight Stefanos Geroulanos' 2024 book The Invention of Prehistory: Empire, Violence, and Our Obsession with Human Origins (Liveright Publishing/ W. W. Norton).
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    Walter Ong's 1981 Book, Judith Butler's 2024 Book, and the Vatican's 2024 Declaration on Gender Theory
    (This version has not been published previously., 2024-04) Farrell, Thomas
    In my wide-ranging 8,100-word review essay "Walter Ong's 1981 Book, Judith Butler's 2024 Book, and the Vatican's 2024 Declaration on Gender Theory," I highlight (1) the American Jesuit Walter Ong's 1981 book Fighting for Life: Contest, Sexuality [Gender], and Consciousness (Cornell University Press), the expanded version of Ong's 1979 Messenger Lectures at Cornell University; (2) Berkeley's leftist Judith Butler's new 2024 book Who's Afraid of Gender? (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); and (3) the Vatican's new 2024 Declaration of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith titled "Dignatis Infinita; on Human Dignity." In addition, I highlight the NCR Vatican correspondent Christopher White's NCR news report about the new Vatican document.
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    Fareed Zakaria's 2024 Book Age of Revolutions, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2024-04) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 2,900-word review essay "Fareed Zakaria's 2024 Book Age of Revolutions, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I succinctly highlight Zakaria's timely new 2024 book Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present (W. W. Norton). More importantly, I succinctly highlight the work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955) to describe and characterize the period that Zakaria discusses -- "from 1600 to the Present."
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    Jonathan Haidt's 2024 Book The Anxious Generation, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2024-04) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 4,150-word review essay "Jonathan Haidt's 2024 Book The Anxious Generation, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I start with brief highlights of the life and work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955). Then I highlight Jonathan Haidt's new 2024 book The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness (Penguin Press). In addition, I include a digression about Nicholas Carr's updated 2020 second edition of his book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (W. W. Norton).
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    Thomas J. Farrell's Most Memorable Year, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2024-03) Farrell, Thomas
    In my wide-ranging 8,850-word review essay "Thomas J. Farrell's Most Memorable Year, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I highlight my memorable year of living in Manhattan and teaching English at the City College of the City University of New York in 1975-1976, during CUNY's expensive experiment with open admissions. In part, I focus on four fine people I knew when I was there: (1) Mina P. Shaughnessy (1924-1978); (2) Theodore L. Gross (1931-2022); (3) Edward Quinn (1932-2012); and (4) Sarah D'Eloia (1943-1990). In addition, I highlight how my own publications about open admissions drew on the work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955).
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    Thomas J. Farrell's Draft of His Obituary, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2024-03) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 1,500-word review essay "Thomas J. Farrell's Draft of His Obituary, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I present a draft of my obituary, including information about my life and my work on the thought of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955). After the draft of my obituary, I present "Some Further Reflections" about my memorable year of living in Manhattan and teaching at the City College of the City of New York in 1975-1976.
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    Eric McLuhan's 2015 Book The Sensus Communis, Synesthesia, and the Soul: An Odyssey, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2024-02) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 7,269-word review essay "Eric McLuhan's 2015 Book The Sensus Communis, Synesthesia, and the Soul: An Odyssey, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I highlight the lives and works of three distinguished media ecology theorists: (1) Eric McLuhan (1942-2018; Ph.D. in English, University of Dallas, 1982); (2) Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980; Ph.D. in English, Cambridge University, 1943); and (3) Walter J. Ong, S.J. (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955). In addition, I briefly highlight Eric McLuhan's 2015 book The Sensus Communis, Synesthesia, and the Soul: An Odyssey (BPS Books/ Bastian Publishing), accentuating connection consciousness in the Roman Catholic tradition of thought. I round off my review essay by listing certain other books and articles related to connection consciousness.
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    John Dear's 2024 Book The Gospel of Peace, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2024-02) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 2,100-word review essay "John Dear's 2024 Book The Gospel of Peace, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I briefly and succinctly highlight the American diocesan priest Father John Dear's new 2024 400-page book The Gospel of Peace: A Commentary on Mathew, Mark, and Luke from the Perspective of Nonviolence (Orbis Books). Even though Father John Dear says that his new 2024 book grows out of his previous books about nonviolence, he also says that Pope Francis' publications about nonviolence in 2017 and 2022 inspired his to write his new 2024 400-page book. In addition, I briefly and succinctly highlight the work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955).
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    Harvey C. Mansfield's and Walter J. Ong's Thoughts About Male Agonism
    (This version has not been published previously., 2024-01) Farrell, Thomas
    In my wide-ranging 6,350-word review essay "Harvey C. Mansfield's and Walter J. Ong's Thoughts About Male Agonism," I discuss the American political philosopher Harvey C. Mansfield's 2006 book Manliness (Yale University Press) and the American Jesuit cultural historian Walter J. Ong's 1981 book Fighting for Life: Contest, Sexuality [Gender], and Consciousness (Cornell University Press), the expanded version of his 1981 Messenger Lectures at Cornell University -- along with a wide range of other relevant books and articles, including some of my own publications.
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    Mary Harrington's 2023 Book Feminism Against Progress, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2023-12) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 3,500-word review essay "Mary Harrington's 2023 Book Feminism Against Progress, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I briefly highlight the conservative Oxford-educated British author Mary Harrington's new 2023 book Feminism Against Progress (Regnery). In addition, I briefly highlight the thought of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955). Because Harrington includes certain autobiographical information about her life and activities, I also include some autobiographical information about my life and activities -- along with some passing references to Pope Francis (born in 1936; elected pope in 2013).
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    David Brooks' 2023 Book How to Know a Person, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2023-11) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 2,575-word review essay "David Brooks' 2023 Book How to Know a Person, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I briefly highlight David Brooks' accessible new 2023 book How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen (Random House). In addition, I briefly highlight the work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955). I also briefly discuss Pope Francis' urging people, not just practicing Catholics, to engage in encounter and dialogue.
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    Thomas J. Farrell's Encounter with Walter J. Ong's Thought: 1964-2023
    (This version has not been published previously., 2023-11) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 4,150-word review essay "Thomas J. Farrell's Encounter with Walter J. Ong's Thought: 1964-2023," I first highlight the life and times of the American scholar and teacher Thomas J. Farrell (born in 1944; Ph.D. in education, Saint Louis University, 1972) of the University of Minnesota Duluth. Interspersed in this account, starting in 1964, I selectively highlight the life and work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955) of Saint Louis University, the Jesuit university in the City of St. Louis, Missouri. In addition, I provide a bibliographic listing of my professional publications between 1974 and 2023.
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    Adam Nicolson's 2023 Book How to Be: Life Lessons from the Early Greeks, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2023-10) Farrell, Thomas
    In my deeply retrospective 4,215-word review essay "Adam Nicolson's 2023 Book How to Be: Life Lessons from the Early Greeks, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I selectively highlight the prolific English author Adam Nicolson's 2023 book How to Be: Life Lessons from the Early Greeks (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). I situate his work in the larger conceptual framework of the work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955) -- and the extensive related work of numerous other scholars, including the philosopher Eric Voegelin and the classicist Eric A. Havelock.
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    Sister Tracey Horan on Pope Francis and the Collective, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2023-10) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 2,600-word review essay "Sister Tracey Horan on Pope Francis and the Collective, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I highlight Sister Tracey Horan's article "Can the church change? It's all about the collective" in the National Catholic Reporter (dated October 20, 2023). In it, Sister Tracey Horan discusses the synod on synodality that is currently underway at the Vatican -- at the behest of Pope Francis. In addition, I highlight relevant points from the work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955).
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    Pope Francis' 2023 Eco-Exhortation Laudate Deum ("Praise God"), and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2023-10) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 4,000-word review essay "Pope Francis' 2023 Eco-Exhortation Laudate Deum ('Praise God'), and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I highlight certain aspects of Pope Francis' new 2023 apostolic exhortation, with some attention also to his widely read 2015 eco-encyclical, on the one hand, and, on the other, relevant aspects of the mature thought from the early 1950s onward of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955). Pope Francis is not familiar with Ong's relevant account of visuality in cognitive processing in our Western cultural history -- which, I suggest, is relevant to all aspects of the pope's critique of the dominant technocratic paradigm in Western culture in recent centuries. Nor is Pope Francis familiar with the hope that Ong holds out regarding our contemporary secondary oral culture (i.e., the culture associated with the communications media that accentuate sound).
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    Jeff Jarvis' 2023 Book The Gutenberg Parenthesis, and Walter J. Ong's Thought
    (This version has not been published previously., 2023-09) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 3,775-word review essay "Jeff Jarvis' 2023 Book The Gutenberg Parenthesis, and Walter J. Ong's Thought," I highlight Jeff Jarvis' new 2023 book The Gutenberg Parenthesis: The Age of Print and Its Lessons for the Age of the Internet (Bloomsbury Academic). In addition, I highlight the relevant work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955) -- with passing references to relevant related works.
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    Walter J. Ong on Being Both Backward-Looking and Forward-Looking at the Same Time
    (This version has not been published previously., 2023-09) Farrell, Thomas
    In my 1,900-word review essay "Walter J. Ong on Being Both Backward-Looking and Forward-Looking at the Same Time," I highlight the life and work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian and pioneering media ecology theorist Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955). Then I highlight Ong's generous review of Marshall McLuhan's ambitious 1962 book The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (University of Toronto Press), on the one hand, and, on the other, Ong's 1981 article "McLuhan as Teacher: The Future is a Thing of the Past." Then I discuss Robert P. Jones' new 2023 book The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy: And the Path to a Shared American Future (Simon & Schuster). In it, Jones criticizes Pope Francis for not being sufficiently backward-looking regarding the Doctrine of Discovery. Finally, I discuss Massimo Faggioli's recent article "The Pope & the Americans: The U.S. episcopate is unparalleled in its resistance to [Pope] Francis" in Commonweal magazine. Faggioli notes that Pope Francis has recently criticized certain conservative American Catholics for being too backward-looking.