Introduction to the Material Text
This course introduces students to the study of material texts: that is, the relationship of texts to their production, circulation, and physical form. We will survey the history of textual production and reproduction from the origins of the codex in late antiquity to the contemporary digital moment in order to understand what the particularities of these practices can teach us about how the texts we study came to be the way they are. We will especially emphasize moments of transition and the remediation of texts over time. Students will gain technical expertise and experience through a series of hands-on exercises in bibliographical analysis, but we will mainly practice a "way of seeing" material texts that can be brought to bear on literary criticism, cultural or media studies, and historiography, beyond the technical work of bibliography. M.A. students and submatriculated undergraduate students may enroll in the course without permission. Advanced undergraduates should contact the instructor to request permission, and should submit a permit request when adding the course to their cart.