THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA
SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE
1998/99 Session (Spring Semester)
LSC 601 History of the Book
Rm. 208, Marist Hall
Instructor: Marija Dalbello
Office hours: Tuesdays 4:30-6:30
Course Description and Objectives:
The course is organized as an overview of current trends in scholarship of the history of authorship, publishing and reading. At the end of the course, the students will be familiar with critical issues in the past, present and the future of the printed word; they should have an understanding of the impact of print in North America and Europe, and should be able to transfer the analytical concepts of print culture to electronic publishing. The students will be expected to take an active role in class: by preparing critical reading of selected research studies, assigned readings and class discussion. They should apply methods of book history research in conducting an evaluation study of primary sources, and their term project.
Each student will be graded on the evaluation of primary sources for research in the history of book and printing, presentation of readings, a final paper that will consist of five individual assignments, and constructive participation in seminar discussions.
Identification and Evaluation of Primary Sources for Book and Print Culture Research:
Each student will identify a manuscript/archival collection, or a compact collection of print genre, collection with particular subject emphasis that reflects a particular collectors' taste, or a library collection that might be used in print culture research. They should prepare a report in which they will clearly indicate the potential for research of this source, identify methodologies that could be used to conduct research using this source, and state the limitations of this source, as appropriate. The written report should be presented to the instructor by February 16. Students should be prepared to discuss briefly their findings in class (on February 23).
Each student will prepare a presentation of one monograph from the list of readings. The student should also research the context of scholarship in which this work belongs, using reviews of that work in scholarly journals, citation indexes, etc. Each presentation should be timed to last about 25 minutes. The student will also identify issues for class discussion and present an outline of the presentation to the instructor.
All students will be responsible for assigned readings and constructive participation in class discussion as well as regular attendance. One of the classes will involve a field trip which might be scheduled outside of regular class hours. The site and the date of the visit will be announced early in the semester. Be prepared to accommodate this in your schedule.
This project will enable students to participate in a collaborative project on the WWW and contribute to an online publication of twentieth century American fiction with the University of Virginia. Each student will choose a bestseller from the 1920s from a list supplied by the instructor, and conduct a study of its publication history and reception. The details of the assignment will be discussed on February 9.
Primary sources report: 20 %
Presentation: 20 %
Term Project: 50 %
Class participation: 10 %
Bolter, Jay David. (1991). Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing. Hillsdale, N.J.
Eisenstein, Elizabeth. 1983. The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press.
Febvre, Martin, and Henri-Jean Martin. 1976. The Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing, 1450-1900. London and New York.
Gaskell, Philip. 1972. A New Introduction to Bibliography. New York and Oxford.
Martin, Henri-Jean. 1993. The History and Power of Writing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Steinberg, S.H. 1996. Five Hundred Years of Printing. 4th ed. Rev. by John Trevitt. New Castle, DE.
Week 1 January 12 Introduction to the Course;
History of the Book as a Field of Study;
National History of the Book Projects
Week 2 January 19 Technology and Chronology I:
The Book Before 1450
January 26 Instructor away - no class
Week 3 February 2 Technology and Chronology II:
Book Production in the Era of the Master Printers;
The Book as Artefact
Week 4 February 9 Introduction to the Term Project: The American Book in the Industrial Era
"Verbalizing Silences and the Faces: The Photoplay Novel as a Model of Popular Reading in the Silent Film Era"
Week 5 February 16 Printing and the People: The Book During the Protestant and Catholic Reformation
Primary sources report due
Presentation: Ginzburg, Cheese and Worms
Week 6 February 23 The World of Print in the Seventeenth Century
Presentation of primary sources reports in class
Presentation: Spufford, Small Books and Pleasant Histories
March 2 Spring recess
Week 7 March 9 Distribution; Communication Networks: Do Books Cause Revolutions?
Presentations: Darnton, Literary Underground
Gilmore, Reading Becomes a Necessity of Life
Davidson, Revolution and the Word
Week 8 March 16 The Age of Reading
Presentations: Anderson, The Printed Image and the Transformation of Popular Culture: 1790- 1860
Altick, The English Common Reader or
Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy
Week 9 March 23 Authors, Publishers and the Public; Regulation of the Book Trade
Week 10 March 30 Bestsellers, Great Books and Middlebrow Reading
Presentations: Rubin, Joan Shelley, The Making of Middlebrow Culture
Radway, A Feeling for Books
Week 11 April 6 Reading and Gender
Presentations: Flint, The Woman Reader, 1837-1914
Radway, Reading the Romance
Week 12 April 13 Transformations of the Book: Electronic Publishing
Week 13 April 20 Slide blitz: The Book: Sacred and Damned
April 27 Term Project Due
Week 2 January 19 Darnton, "What is the History of Books?"
Week 3 February 2 Jardine, pp. 135-180
Febvre-Martin, 1-247 or Steinberg, Ch. 1
scan Gaskell, 5-185
Week 4 February 9 readings to be assigned
Week 5 February 16 Eisenstein, 148-278
Week 6 February 23 Hall, 1-35
Martin, Ch. 6
Week 7 March 9 Martin, Ch. 9
Week 8 March 16 Steinberg, Ch. 3 or Gaskell, 189-310
Week 9 March 23 readings to be assigned
Week 10 March 30 Radway, "Reading in America," pp. 259-84. Steinberg, Ch. 4
Week 11 April 6 all scan Flint, Radway
Week 12 April 13 Bolter, Writing Space, Ch. 6, 8
Martin, Ch. 10