All readings are available either through the links on this website, or through canvas. Download the course syllabus here.

Note that this schedule is subject to change. Any changes will be made here.


Date Reading Activities Assignment
January 28, 2019 (Unit 1)

Topic: Whose history of the book?
1. The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species by Ken Liu (2012) Guest Visit: Coll Thrush
February 4, 2019 (Unit 1).

Topic: Writing Books
1. Case Study: Birgit Brander Rasmussen, “The Manuscript, the Quipu, and the Early American Book.” (in Colonial Mediascapes). 141-165 Descriptive Bibliography Workshop (1)
2. Theory: Boone, "Introduction." in Elizabeth Hill Boone and Walter Mignolo, Writing Without Words. Durham: Duke University Press, 1994.
3. Context: [Podcast!] Hortensia Calvo, “Knots, Paint, Paper, and Ink: Books and Print in Early Spanish America” (Audio).
February 11, 2019 (Unit 1).

Topic: Printing Books.
1. Case Study: Stallybrass, Peter. "Printing and the Manuscript Revolution." in Barbie Zelizer, ed. Explorations in Communication and History. Routledge, 2008. Descriptive Bibliography Workshop (2)
2. Theory: Eisenstein, Elizabeth. “Defining the Initial Shift.” In David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery, eds. Book History Reader. Routledge, 2006. 232-254
3. Context: William S. Reese, "The First Hundred Years of Printing in British North America: Printers and Collectors." American Antiquarian Society, 1990.
February 18, 2019 (Unit 1) No Class: Presidents' Day First Draft: Book Description
February 25, 2019 (Unit 1)

Topic: The Sociology of a Text.
1. Case Study: D. F. McKenzie, “The Sociology of a Text.” Finkelstein and McCleery, Book History Reader. 205-232. Guest Visit: David Szewczyk Peer Review: Book Description
2. Theory: Tuhiwai Smith, Linda. "Imperialism, History, Writing, and Theory" in Decolonizing Methodologies. Zed Books, 2012. 57-91.
3. Context: Philip Round, “The Coming of the Book to Indian Country.” in Removable Type. University of North Carolina Press, 2011. 21-45.
March 4, 2019 (Unit 2)

Topic: Production
1. Case Study: Jessie Feiman, "The Matrix and the Meaning in Dürer's Rhinoceros." Art in Print, Vol. 2, No. 4 (2012): 22-26. Guest Visit: Holly Shaffer Final Draft: Book Description
2. Theory: Michael Gaudio, "Making Sense of Smoke." in Engraving the Savage.
3. Context: Valeria Gauz, "Early Printing in Brazil." Bulletin du Bibliophile (2013).
4. [Suggested Reading]: Benjamin Schmidt, "Printing the World: Processed Books and Exotic Stereotypes." In Inventing Exoticism (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).
5. [Suggested Reading]: Lisa Voigt and Elio Brancaforte. "The Traveling Illustrations of Sixteenth-Century Travel Narratives ." *PMLA* 129.3 (2014)365-398.
March 11, 2019 (Unit 2)

Topic: Circulation
1. Case Study: Hill, Matthew. "The Book Trade in the Colonial Philippines." Book History 20:1 (2017). 40-82. Guest Visit: Dana Leibsohn and Aaron Hyman
2. Theory: Liam Buckley, "Objects of Love and Decay: Colonial Photographs in a Postcolonial Archive." Cultural Anthropology 20.2 (2005): 249–270.
3. Context: Patricia May B. Jurilla, Story Book: Essays on the History of the Book in the Philippines. Anvill Publishing, Inc., 2013. 1-55.
March 18, 2019 (Unit 2)

Topic: Authorship
1. Case Study: Cobb, Jasmine Nichole. "“Forget Me Not”: Free Black Women and Sentimentality." MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S., vol. 40 no. 3, 2015, pp. 28-46. Guest Visit: Bertie Mandelblatt
2. Context: Lara Langer Cohen and Jordan Alexander Stein, "Introduction," in Early African American Print Culture. 1-16.
3. Context: Gardner, Eric. "Early African American Print Culture and the American West" in Cohen and Stein, Early African American Print Culture. 75-89.
March 22, 2019 (Unit 2)(Friday) First Draft: Books in Context
March 25, 2019 (Unit 2) No Class: Spring Break
April 1, 2019 (Unit 2)

Topic: Collection
1. Theory: Salvatore, Ricardo (2008). Libraries and the Legibility of Hispanic America: Early Latin American Collections in the United States.* (pp. 191-211). Group work workshop? Peer Review: Books in Context
2. Case Study: Ashley Farmer, Archiving While Black. The Chronicle of Higher Education. July 22, 2018.
3. Case Study: Laure E. Helton, "On Decimals, Catalogs, and Racial Imaginaries of Reading." PMLA 134.1 (2019). 99-120.
Suggested Reading: 4. Case Study: [Podcast]: The World's Most Glamorous Librarian. Annotated Episode 3 (July 27, 2017).
April 8, 2019 (Unit 3)

Topic: Copies

Updated 4/3
1. Case Study: Daniela Bleichmar, "Translation, Mobility, and Mediation: The Case of the Codex Mendoza." in Susanna Burghartz, Lucas Burkart, and Christine Göttler, eds. Sites of Mediation. 240-269. Final Draft: Books in Context
2. Theory: Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." 1936.
3. Context: Kelly McDonough, "LLILAS Benson and the Repatriation of Indigenous Cultural Patrimony of Mexico." Portal. July 29, 2016.
4. [Recommended Reading]: Mak, Bonnie. “Archaeology of a digitization.” Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. Volume 65, Issue 8.
April 15, 2019 (Unit 2) Visit to Printing Studio with Erica Mena-Landry and Kalie Boyne
[Suggested Reading] Corinna Zeltsman, “Defining Responsibility: Printers, Politics, and the Law in Early Republican Mexico City.” The Hispanic American Historical Review. 98, no. 2 (May 2018): 189-222.
April 22, 2019 (Unit 3)

Topic: Digital
1. Case Study: "sx archipelagos presents Musical Passage: A Voyage to 1688 Jamaica. Guest Visit: Élika Ortega
2. Theory: Dot Porter, "Is This Your Book? What we call digitized manuscripts and why it matters." July 16, 2018.
3. Theory: Kim Christen. "Does Information Really Want to be Free? Indigenous Knowledge Systems and the Question of Openness.” International Journal of Communication. 6 (2012).
April 29, 2019 (Unit 3)

Topic: Curation
1. David Thomas, Simon Fowler, and Valerie Johnson. The Silence of the Archive. Chapter 1.
2. John Overholt, "Five Theses on the Future of Special Collections." RBM 13.1 (2013).
No required readings today
May 6, 2019 (Unit 3) Exhibition Show & Tell
May 15, 2019 (Unit 3) Final Exhibit Launch