The aim of this course is to think about books. Not just books as objects, but books as the signifiers of a wealth of relationships – between reading and writing, between people and ideas, between people and people, between technologies and desires. For centuries, our ideas have been shaped by the rhythms and hierarchies inherent in the nature of print. But the nature of the book itself has changed enormously over time – from the painstaking creation of ancient papyri and codices to Gutenberg and the fifteenth-century printing revolution. Moreover, as these technologies have changed, so have their associated phenomena of authorship, authority, and reading itself. And now, as blogs, wikis, and Google shift the discourse from page to screen, old definitions and relations are undergoing yet another series of unimagined changes. The roles of author and reader are morphing and blurring. But is this revolution truly new? We look at books and book culture from ancient Mesopotamia to the present day, investigating the nature and significance of these objects, their content, and the relationships they embody.
Students taking this course will engage with the joy of doing good history. Specifically, they will:
1. Learn about one facet of the mutlifaceted, neverending, and eternally surprising realities of the past;
2. Learn how to respectfully analyze historical facts and documents through an understanding of those who made them; and
3. Learn how to express those respectful analyses in writing.
Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: One course in History and/or Literature; permission of the instructor.
Course Level: 4000-level
W 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years
Categories: All courses , History , Fully In-Person
Tags: History , Writing , reading , Books