ENG 5933: The History of the Book
Fall 2007 Course Syllabus

Weekly Schedule of Readings and Exercises


Class Details

Meeting: Tuesdays & Thursdays Room: Williams 116
Time: 14.00-15.15  
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Instructor: David L. Gants Office: Williams 316
Telephone: 850-270-1232 E-mail: dgants(at)fsu.edu
Office Hours: Wednesdays 10.00-11.30 & 13.00-14.30

Course Overview

Course Goals. This course seeks to examine the rise of the codex book in western culture and its impact on individuals and institutions. It begins with a historical survey of the varied forms of textual reproduction used by different cultures, including the development of paper and block printing, vegetable and animal manuscript scrolls, and procedures for storing and cataloguing books. The bulk of the course covers machine printing from Gutenberg to the present day, with an emphasis on the main components of the industry: early print technologies of the common press, movable type and laid paper; state and trade institutions of regulation, control and distribution; the industrial age and the development of machine presses, mechanical typesetting, new illustration processes and mass-produced paper; shifts in patterns of readership and reception from the first Frankfurt Book Fair through modern mass marketing; and the current “death of the book” age of post-modern readers, e-books and the Internet.

Course Requirements.

Primary Texts. This course has four required texts:

All other readings will be from on-line sources whenever possible, although there may be occasional photocopied journal articles at the Strozier Library Reserve Desk.

Fine Print.