Tim Brookes to speak on language in the digital age at Landmark College

PUTNEY — Essayist and author Tim Brookes will visit Landmark College to talk about the role of Twitter, texting, and other technology in shaping writing.

Brookes will speak on March 30, at 7 p.m. in the Brooks M. O'Brien Auditorium in the East Academic Building. This event is free, accessible, and open to the public.

Brookes is the director of the Professional Writing Program at Champlain College. He is also a Vermont Humanities Council Speaker, and the author of a dozen books on diverse topics including travel, guitars, and medical epidemics.

He worked with Writers Without Borders (WWB), an organization dedicated to supporting emerging voices in the developing world. For 20 years, Brookes's essays have been featured on public radio programs, including “Performance Today,” “Morning Edition,” and “Sunday Weekend Edition.”

Brookes's talk, entitled “Disappearing Alphabets and the Future of the Written Word,” is a take-off on the Endangered Alphabets Project, his not-for-profit foundation in Vermont. The mission of the foundation is “to play an active role in preserving endangered cultures by using their writing systems to create artwork and educational materials.”

According to the foundation's website, Brookes “had the idea that there was a world crisis in endangered languages,” and thus he began to research symbols from across the globe.

Brookes described the variety of 6,000 world languages as “staggering,” and he said, “What an array of inventions!” His talk will draw on this research and speculate about the future.

Liza Burns, Communications Department chair at Landmark College, explained the relevance of Brookes's talk to her field.

“In communications courses, we examine how verbal language impacts our perceptions of the world,” she said. “I'm thrilled to have Tim Brookes share his academic insights on how technology is changing written language.”

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