English 190

Research Seminar: History of the Book, 597-2011


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
17 Fall 2011 Thornbury, Emily V.
Thornbury, Emily
TTh 2-3:30 301 Wheeler (see course description)

Other Readings and Media

Roberts, J.: A Guide to Scripts Used in English Writings up to 1500; Eliot, S.: A Companion to the History of the Book

Description

In this research seminar, we will study the development of one of the most influential technologies ever created: the book. Beginning with the introduction of the manuscript codex into England, we will trace the book through many transformations: the print revolution during the Renaissance; the effect of mechanization in the 19th century; and peer into the future with a look at today’s array of electronic “print” media. Along the way, we will think about what this technology does for and to literature, and will try to understand how texts interact with their physical embodiments.

On Tuesdays, the class will meet in the Bancroft Library, where we will work with primary material and learn about the proper handling of rare books and manuscripts. Thursdays will be spent (in 301 Wheeler) in discussions of a wide range of historical, theoretical, and practical issues: there will be a course reader in addition to the required textbooks. Your research for this course will help you develop skills for describing and understanding the lives of books and of the texts in them. You will learn to transcribe manuscripts, create editions, and accurately describe many kinds of books. You will also study the way in which format and content interact in books and in other media containing written words. Fifteen hundred years of book history will be open to you in your choice of a final research project.

Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in, or wait-listing for, this course.

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.

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