Saint Louis University

Mission Statement:

The Walter J. Ong, S.J., Center for Language, Culture, and Media Studies has a two-fold mission: to promote interdisciplinary research in the Humanities at Saint Louis University, and to make it possible for scholars to assess and use the works of Fr. Ong.

The primary mission of the Center is to foster innovative research and scholarship in all the fields in which Fr. Ong had an impact, including English, Communication, History, Theology, Modern and Classical Languages, and Philosophy. By supporting faculty, students, conferences, speakers, and visiting scholars, the Ong Center enriches the intellectual environment at Saint Louis University. The Ong Center fosters inquiry into works of the human intellect and imagination, and brings together members of the academic community for interdisciplinary analyses and discoveries. The Ong Center encourages original research in the Humanities. In fulfilling this mission, the Ong Center continues the Jesuit tradition of open, rigorous intellectual inquiry.

Walter J. Ong, S.J., (1912-2003) was a pre-eminent Humanities scholar at Saint Louis University and an internationally renowned visionary intellectual. He made lasting contributions to a number of fields, including orality and literacy studies, literary criticism, communication theory, religious studies, theories of cultural and technological change, the history of rhetoric, and media studies. His work has been influential in exploring how human beings organize knowledge, language, and identity. In partnership with the Department of Special Collections in Pius XII memorial Library, the Center provides access to Fr. Ong's scholarship, correspondence, and other archival materials. Some of these materials are available online through the Digital Collection.