Tempo and Reading Well
This chapter explores the significance of tempo and rhythm in the classroom and inquiry by focusing on a case study for a hypertext writing assignment in a seminar on Nietzsche. The investigation integrates current research on the science of reading and learning and scrutinizes historical and contemporary fears that new media undermine not only reading comprehension but even cognition. Of particular concern is the conflation of speed and ease in some discussions. It is argued that in addition to the adaptation of new technologies to the needs of humanities research in particular, we need to develop scholarly habits appropriate for the tasks: The lento tempo of the art of exegesis, as Nietzsche describes it, might yet have allegro and staccato accompaniments, which could quickly draw unexpected connections that enhance the meaning of the whole enterprise of teaching and learning.
KeywordsReading Comprehension Electronic Medium Screen Reading Digital Evidence American Life Project
I am grateful for feedback that helped me focus and develop my ideas in this article, including comments from Richard Burke, Gina Cherry, Brian Crowley, Manfred Kuechler, and Mark Turner. This work was completed at the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University, and I gratefully acknowledge the intellectual space they created to support it. Many thanks also to the editors of this volume for insightful and helpful feedback along the way.