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Material Texts

ENGL 736.401
crosslisted as: COML 736
instructor(s):
Wednesdays 9-12:00 pm
fulfills requirements:

This course will focus upon the material culture of reading, writing, and printing from 1400 to 1900 in England and America, although students will be welcome to develop twentieth-century topics (e.g. on Mercedes de Acosta’s bible with its photograph gallery of her “saints,” including Greta Garbo). We will do hands-on research on the extraordinary collections of manuscripts and printed texts at the Library Company, the Free Library, the Rosenbach Museum, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation as well as at Penn, and the course will give you a chance to find archives and to develop publishable projects that will be relevant to whatever research you will go on to do. The topics that we will explore will include religious and sexual censorship, the manuscript circulation of poetry, the politics of the alphabet, writing and printing the American Revolution, and letter-writing practices.