CAH 6130. The History of the Western Book: From Gutenberg to Google. 3 Credits.
This one semester course is a brief survey of the history of the book over the last 550 years. We will examine not only the production methods of a wide range of book and print materials, but the cultural and theoretical issues that underpin our understanding of the role of the book in history. Although we will discuss non-Western and ancient and mediaeval manuscript books, the focus of the course is on developments in Europe and North America. Special, but not exclusive, attention will be paid to illustrated and decorated books, as well as 20th century livres d'artiste. Many of the course sessions will be held at the Library of Congress, where students will have direct access to the materials under study. As digital technologies have forced us to reconsider the signifying power of the "'body of the book,"' academic interest in the field of material bibliography has expanded considerably. This course is designed to introduce students to these scholarly issues and debates. Priority to graduate students of the Art and the Book department; open to other degree students as space is available.