- Course Number: ENGL 236
- Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 236
- Quarter: Winter 2022
This course studies the materiality of literary production from the invention of writing through today’s digital moment. Examining the interplay between textual objects and their linguistic content, we will focus on how the physical processes of composition, publication, and circulation affect textual meaning. How have the technologies of the pen, the press, the postal system, the telegraph, and the computer affected concepts of communication? How can we best understand the ways these technologies successively interact with one another? And how have literary works responded to such developments? Readings will include primary sources reflecting on the introduction of new media, literary texts that emphasize materiality in various ways, and secondary readings in the fields of book history, bibliography, and the digital humanities. While featuring foundational readings in these fields we will also take an “intersectional book history” approach with recent work that is expanding the boundaries of the field. Along the way, we will learn to set type and use a pull press, and view archival materials in Special Research Collections. Final papers/projects will be flexible and could take a variety of media forms.