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History of Books and Printing  
   
   
 

 


University of Massachusetts
English 891K

Wed., 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies (Swanson Room and/or Reading Room)

address & directions


syllabus
assignments
research center


course description
course requirements
reading list



 

Faculty

James Kelly

Du Bois Library 1967
UMass-Amherst
tel 545.3981
fax 577.2565
off. hrs. by appointment
contact instructor

Amaryllis Siniossoglou

Fine Arts Center
UMass-Amherst
off. hrs. by appointment
contact instructor


James Wald
G-15 Franklin Patterson
Hampshire College
tel. 559.5592
off. hrs.: Mon., Thurs., 12:00-2:00, Wed., 12:00-1:00 (sign-up) and by appointment

contact instructor

 

 

syllabus and course guide

 


 


course description

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
Graduate Seminar (special topics)


This course is a unique amalgam of background study and hands-on experience aimed at providing a historical overview through reading assignments in primary sources (e.g., printers' manuals) combined with secondary sources on bibliography and the history of the book (e.g., Gaskell, Bowers, Eisenstein, Johns, etc.). The practical aspect of the course comprises close textual analysis of sixteenth- through eighteenth-century volumes from the Renaissance Center, visits to the Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College, guest lectures by scholars, and demonstrations by book artists. There will be opportunities to make paper, set type, and perform other printing-related activities.

Because the course attempts to bridge the gap between the social sciences and the humanities and the history and art of the book, it should appeal to graduate students in such fields as literature, sociology, communications, and history, as well as participants in MFA programs. It is open to advanced undergraduates, as well (instructor permission required).

James Kelly is Humanities Bibliographer, Collection Development, Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; and Adjunct Faculty, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. He in addition serves as the American Editor, Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature and recently finished a term as Public Affairs Director, Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP).

Amaryllis Siniossoglou holds degrees from the Athens School of Art in her native Greece, the Ecole Normale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She has taught sculpture, jewelry design, drawing, painting, printmaking, and book arts at the graduate and undergraduate levels at several schools in Massachusetts. In 1999, she received the prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where she holds the position of Visiting Lecturer. Her work has been exhibited at juried international exhibitions on four continents.

James Wald is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Book at Hampshire College. His field is cultural history of modern Europe, and among his specialties is the history of the book. Particular research and teaching interests include authorship and publishing, journalism, political literature, and literary life in Germany and France from the Enlightenment through World War II.

The course meets at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies (650 East Pleasant Street, Amherst), with the support and participation of its Director, Professor Arthur Kinney.

 

Please note: Depending on the final shape of our plan, there may be a modest fee for some duplicated readings and studio materials. We thank you in advance for our understanding.




 

course requirements

• regular attendance
• completion of assigned readings and participation in discussion
• a short report on an assigned topic (ca. 5 pp.)
• term project (analytical or artifactual) to be negotiated with the instructors

details

 

 

 

 



prophet reading
Cloister Eberbach, Germany
(one of the sites of the SHARP conference for Gutenberg-Year 2000)

reading list

The following required texts are available for purchase at Atticus Books (8 Main St., Amherst) and will in addition (we hope) be on reserve, along with related works at the Renaissance Center:

• Philip Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography (1974; rpt. Winchester: St. Paul's Bibliographies; New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Books, 1995)

• David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery, eds., The Book History Reader (London and NY: Routledge, 2002)

additional resources

 

 

 

 

 


class schedule


Meeting 1: 4 September
Introductions and Administrativia

screening
"The Making of a Renaissance Book"

hands-on activity
examination of Renaissance printed texts:
What are the defining physical characteristics of the early modern book?
To what extent can they tell us something about the intellectual world of the text and its readers?

Study Guide

The video was filmed at the museum housing the famous Plantin printing office in Antwerp




return to overview



Meeting 2: 11 September
Getting Our Hands Dirty: The Early Modern Book

Readings

• Gaskell, 1-56, 311-60

hands-on activity
a closer look at books in the collection of the Renaissance Center:
the making of books and the scientific description of books: history and analytical bibliography

Study Guide




return to overview

Meeting 3: 18 September
Writing It Down: The Age of Manuscripts

Readings

• Walter Ong, "Orality and Literacy: Writing Restructures Consciousness," in The Book History Reader, 105-17
• Jan-Dirk Müller, "The Body of the Book: The media transition from manuscript to print," in The Book History Reader, 143-50

note: these are also available on electronic reserve through the UMass library

Guest Lecture on the culture of writing and illuminated manuscripts by Dr. R. Dean Ware, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Study Guide

Come prepared with questions for our speaker


 

return to overview

Meeting 4: 25 September
Early Books: From Manuscript to Print

Readings

• Gaskell, 57-141
• Elizabeth Eisenstein, "Defining the Initial Shift: Some Features of Print Culture," in The Book History Reader, 151-73

Lecture and discussion with Martin Antonetti, Curator, Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. Note: Class will meet in the Rare Book Room (3rd floor of Neilson Library)

Study Guide



return to overview

Meeting 5: 2 October
Studio Workshop: Papermaking (instructor: Amaryllis Siniossoglou)

Readings

• Gaskell, 57-77
• TBA

Note: Class will meet in the printing shop, 4th floor of the Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts (directions will be provided).

Study Guide


 


return to overview

Meeting 6: 9 October
Book History as a New Interdisciplinary Discipline

Readings

• David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery, "Introduction"
• Robert Darnton, "What Is the History of Books?"
• D. F. McKenzie, "The Book as an Expressive Form"
• Roger Chartier, "Labourers and Voyagers: From the text to the reader"
• Adrian Johns, "The Book of Nature and the Nature of the Book"

all in The Book History Reader, 1-38,47-76

Study Guide

We deliberately postponed this discussion until after you had had a chance to get to know the book as physical object, as well as some of the other scholarly literature.

Reminder: get started on midterm essays.



return to overview

no class 16 October: fall break/Monday schedule


Meeting 7: 23 October
Authors

Readings

• Editors' Introduction
• Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author"
• Michel Foucault, "What is an Author?"
• Mark Rose, "Literary Property Determined"
• John Brewer, "Authors, Publishers and the Making of Literary Culture"

all in The Book History Reader, 219-49

Study Guide

Reminder: keep working on your midterm essays.

NOTE: Please join us Thursday evening for the Hampshire College Center for the Book Film Series: "Dangerous Books!" All the fall films deal in some sense with book history of the medieval or early modern era. Events include discussion and free refreshments.

This month's film: "The Name of the Rose"

See Center for the Book Calendar for Details.




return to overview

Meeting 8: 30 October
Studio Workshop: Relief Printmaking (instructor: Amaryllis Siniossoglou)

Readings
• Gaskell, 154-59
• TBA

Note: Class will meet in the printing shop, 4th floor of the Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts (directions will be provided).

Study Guide

REMINDER: midterm essay due in class



return to overview

Meeting 9: 6 November
Reading

Readings

• Roger Chartier, "The Practical Impact of Writing"
• Editors' Introduction
• Wolfgang Iser, "Interaction Between Text and Reader"
• E. Jennifer Monaghan, "Literacy Instruction and Gender in Colonial New England"
• Jonathan Rose, "Rereading the English Common Reader: A Preface to a History of Audiences"
• Richard Altick, "The English Common Reader: From Caxton to the Eighteenth Century"
all in The Book History Reader, 118-42, 289-315, 324-49

Study Guide



return to overview

Meeting 10: 13 November
Printing

Readings

• Gaskell, 160-70
• review the earlier readings on the coming of print (e.g., Müller and Eisenstein) in The Book History Reader
• review Gaskell on printing in the hand-press era, as necessary

Note: Class will meet in Art Larson's printing establishment (Horton Tank Graphics), 47 East Street, Hadley.

recommended:

• Gaskell, 189-213, 251-65, 274-96

Study Guide

• What changes did industrialization bring?



return to overview

Meeting 11: 20 November
Textual Editing: which text to use and why? (instructor: Prof. Arthur Kinney)

Readings
• Jerome McGann, "The Socialization of Texts"
• Stanley Fish, "Interpreting the Variorum"

in The Book History Reader, 39-46, 350-58

• plus in-class handouts

hands-on workshop
comparing the quarto and folio texts of Shakespeare's works

Study Guide

NOTE: Please join us Thursday evening for the Hampshire College Center for the Book Film Series: "Dangerous Books!" All the fall films deal in some sense with book history of the medieval or early modern era. Events include discussion and free refreshments.

This month's film: "Queen Margot"

See Center for the Book Calendar for Details.

 



return to overview

 

no class 27 November: Thanksgiving break

 


Meeting 12: 4 December
BookmakingBooks

Studio Workshop: Book Project (instructor: Amaryllis Siniossoglou)

Readings
TBA

Note: Class will meet in the printing shop, 4th floor of the Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts (directions will be provided).

Study Guide



return to overview

Meeting 13, 11 December
Oral presentations & wrap-up

Readings
• TBA

Study Guide

LAST CLASS

 

NOTE: Celebrate the end of the course and semester with us.

Please join us Friday evening for the Hampshire College Center for the Book Film Series: "Dangerous Books!" All the fall films deal in some sense with book history of the medieval or early modern era. Events include discussion and free refreshments.

This month's film: "The Ninth Gate"

See Center for the Book Calendar for Details.

 


return to overview

 

 

 
 
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last updated 11 December, 2004
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