ON DAYS MARKED (BR), THE ENTIRE CLASS OR SPECIFIED GROUPS WILL MEET IN THE BARR’S ROOM, 472 HOLMES HALL

Except for the three required books (all available in the NU bookstore), most of our readings are available online. Those that aren’t (they don’t have a hyperlink) can be downloaded in this course packet. The zip file is password-protected; I will give you the password in class.

Wednesday, September 3: Introduction to the course and to each other

Lab #1: Romancing the book

Unit 1: Media Matters

Thursday, September 4: Media Matters

  1. Lisa Gitelman and Goeffrey Pingree, “What’s New About New Media?”
  2. Marshall McLuhan, “The Medium is the Message”

Monday, September 8:

  1. James Gleick, The Information, to pg. 203

Wednesday, September 10: Orality and Literacy

  1. Plato, selection from Phaedrus
  2. Walter Ong, “Writing is a Technology that Restructures Thought”
  3. William A. Johnson, “Bookrolls as Media” from Comparative Textual Media

Thursday, September 11: Tablets, Scrolls, Codices

Lab #2: Museum of Fine Arts Archival Visit

Monday, September 15: Medieval Media

  1. Thoroughly explore The Archimedes Palimpsest
  2. watch Will Noel, “Revealing the lost codex of Archimedes”
  3. Bede, “The Story of Cædmon” 
  4. Jessica Brantley, “Medieval Remediations” from Comparative Textual Media

Unit 2: The Textual Machine

(Group A—BARR’S ROOM, 472 HOLMES HALL) Wednesday, September 17: Scrivening

Lab #3: Simulating the Scriptorium

  1. Ælfric, Preface to his translation of Genesis. You can also see (but probably not read) Ælfric's (Old) English translation.
  2. Browse the Lindisfarne Gospel and Book of Kells (Kells takes awhile to load; be patient)
  3. Geoffrey Chaucer, “Chaucer’s Words to His Scrivener”
  4. Excerpts from Johannes Trithemius, In Praise of Scribes

(Group B) Wednesday, September 17: Digital Scrivening

Lab #4: XML/TEI Encoding

(Group B—BARR’S ROOM, 472 HOLMES HALL) Thursday, September 18: Scrivening

Lab #3: Simulating the Scriptorium

  1. Ælfric, Preface to his translation of Genesis. You can also see (but probably not read) Ælfric's (Old) English translation.
  2. Browse the Lindisfarne Gospel and Book of Kells (Kells takes awhile to load; be patient)
  3. Geoffrey Chaucer, “Chaucer’s Words to His Scrivener”
  4. Excerpts from Johannes Trithemius, In Praise of Scribes

(Group A) Thursday, September 18: Digital Scrivening

Lab #4: XML/TEI Encoding

Monday, September 22: The Printing Press

  1. (watch) Stephen Fry, The Machine that Made Us
  2. Compare the paper and vellum versions of the Gutenberg Bible
  3. Browse The Nuremberg Chronicle
  4. Elizabeth Eisenstein, “Some Features of Print Culture” from The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe

(Group A) Wednesday, September 24: Lab Report and Unessay Workshop

(Group B - BPL Rare Book Room) Wednesday, September 24: Early Materials Overview

Lab #5: Boston Public Library Rare Books Collection

Note: before this visit you should register as a reader with the BPL so that you will be able to handle their materials.

(Group B) Thursday, September 25: Lab Report and Unessay Workshop

(Group A - BPL Rare Book Room) Thursday, September 25: Early Materials Overview

Lab #5: Boston Public Library Rare Books Collection

Note: before this visit you should register as a reader with the BPL so that you will be able to handle their materials.

Monday, September 29: Type

Guest lecturer: Nathan Felde, Chair of Art+Design

  1. (Play) Type:Rider
  2. Browse HiLoBrow’s series “Kern Your Enthusiasm”
  3. H. George Fletcher, introduction to In Praise of Aldus Manutius
  4. Browse In aedibus Aldi: the legacy of Aldus Manutius and his press

Wednesday, October 1: Job Printing

  1. Lisa Gitelman, “Print Culture (Other Than Codex): Job Printing and Its Importance” in Comparative Textual Media
  2. Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, (Chapters 2-3, 5-7)
  3. Read this history of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense
  4. Review selected broadsides:
  1. Kentish Dick (1671-1702?)
  2. A Proclamation For a Publick Thanksgiving (1721)
  3. The Great Evil of the Sin of Drunkenness (1760s)
  4. The Naughty Chicken (1855)

Thursday, October 2: UNIT 2 Summary

  1. William Blake’s printing process, described in “Illuminated Printing” (make sure to read each of the 9 short sections e.g. “Engraving,” “New Printing Technologies,” &c.)
  2. William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (I’ve chosen one edition here, but browse the others in the Blake Archive for a sense of how the work varied from printing to printing)

Friday, October 3: Unessay #1 DUE!

Unit 3: Information Overload

Monday, October 6: Across Print Modalities

Lab #6: Visit to the National Braille Press

88 St. Stephen St., Boston

Wednesday, October 8: Mass Media (Mis)information

  1. Edgar Allan Poe, “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”
  2. Look also at the introductory paragraph to this newspaper reprinting of “Valdemar” (it’s in the 1st column)
  3. “The Great Moon Hoax” 
  1. Ellen Gruber Garvey, “Anonymity, Authorship, and Recirculation: A Civil War Episode”

(Meet at the BPL, Boylston Street Lobby) Thursday, October 9: Book Traces

Lab #7: Bibliographic Scavenger Hunt

  1. Browse the Book Traces website
  2. Do some research to figure out where in the BPL’s stacks you’re likely to find books from before 1922

Monday, October 13: NO CLASS for Columbus Day

Tuesday, October 14: Celebrate the much cooler Ada Lovelace Day!

Wednesday, October 15: The Rise of the Novel

  1. Herman Melville, “Cetology”
  2. 19th-Century Commentaries on Novel Reading:
  1. “On Novel Reading” (from The Guardian; or Youth's Religious Instructor, 1820)
  2. “Devouring Books” (from the American Annals of Education, 1835)
  3. M.M. Backus, “Novel Writers and Publishers” (from Christian Parlor Magazine, 1844)

(Split Groups) Thursday, October 16: Not Reading a Victorian Novel

Lab #8: Distant Reading (Computational Text Analysis)

  1. Michael Whitmore, “Text: A Massively Addressable Object”
  2. Stephen Ramsay, “The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around”

Thursday, October 16: BONUS LAB: Writeup William Noel Talk, “The Open Book: Medieval Data in the 21st Century”

4:00pm, 346 Curry Student Center, Refreshments Served!

Monday, October 20: The Bestseller

  1. Harriet Beecher Stowe, the first two and third chapters from Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  2. Michael Winship, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin: History of the Book in the 19th-Century United States”
  3. Find one artifact you’d like to discuss form the “Responses” and “Other Media” sections of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture archive

(Group I) Wednesday, October 22: In the Archive II

Lab #9: Boston Public Library Rare Books Collection

(Group II & III) Wednesday, October 22: Art, Industry, and Authenticity

  1. Henry James, “The Real Thing”
  2. Adam Sonstegard, “‘Singularly like a bad illustration’: The Appearance of Henry James’s ‘The Real Thing’ in the Pot-Boiler Press”

(Group II) Thursday, October 23: In the Archive II

Lab #9: Boston Public Library Rare Books Collection

(Group I) Thursday, October 23: Art, Industry, and Authenticity

  1. Henry James, “The Real Thing”
  2. Adam Sonstegard, “‘Singularly like a bad illustration’: The Appearance of Henry James’s ‘The Real Thing’ in the Pot-Boiler Press”

(Group III) Thursday, October 23: Day Off!

Interested groups can visit Areti in the Barrs Room to workshop their Dead Media Posters

Saturday, October 25: Museum of Printing Field Trip

Meet at 8:45am in front of Chicken Lou’s to board the bus

Lab #10: Letterpress Printing

Unit 4: Textual Futures

Monday, October 27: The Hypertext in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Class led by practicum student Areti Sakellaris

  1. Virginia Woolf, part III (“The Lighthouse) of To the Lighthouse
  2. summary of Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”

(Group III) Wednesday, October 29: In the Archive II

Lab #9: Boston Public Library Rare Books Collection

(Group I and II) Wednesday, October 29: Day off!

Interested groups can visit Areti in the Barrs Room to workshop their Dead Media Posters

Thursday, October 30: Dead Media Day

“Dead Media” Poster Presentations

Monday, November 3: An Index of All Knowledge

  1. Joseph Reagle, “Nazis and Norms” and “Encyclopedic Anxiety”
  2. Jorge Louis Borges, “The Library of Babel”

Wednesday, November 5: Wikpedia I

Prof. Cordell away: small groups led by Amanda Rust and TAs

  1. Familiarize yourself with the links on the page Amanda has made for the class (focus especially on the links under the “Understanding Wikipedia” section)

Lab #11a: Contributing to Wikipedia

Thursday, November 6: Wikipedia II

Prof. Cordell away: small groups led by Amanda Rust and TAs

Lab #11b: Contributing to Wikipedia

Monday, November 10: The Death of the Novel?

  1. Leah Price, “You Are What You Read”
  2. Will Self, “The Novel Is Dead (This Time It’s For Real)” 
  3. Thomas Pettitt, “The Gutenberg Parenthesis: Oral Tradition and Digital Technologies”
  4. N. Katherine Hayles, “How We Read: Close, Hyper, Machine”

Wednesday, November 12: Script(ing)

Lab #12a: Programming in Python

  1. Mark Sample, “A Protest Bot is a Bot So Specific You Can’t Mistake It for Bullshit”

Thursday, November 13: Script(ing)

Lab #12b: Programming in Python

Monday, November 17: Writing as Programming as Writing

  1. Stephen Ramsay and Geoffrey Rockwell, “Writing as Programming as Writing”
  2. James Gleick, The Information, 310-323 and 373-426

(Group A-BR) Wednesday, November 19: E-Reading

  1. Matthew Battles, “In Defense of the Kindle”
  2. Alison Flood, “Readers Absorb Less on Kindles than On Paper”
  3. Craig Mod, “Embracing the Digital Book,” “Post-Artifact Books and Publishing”, and “Platforming Books”

(Group B) Wednesday, November 19: Writing Online

TA Kevin Smith will lead this class

Lab #13a: Multimodal Composition

  1. Gunther Kress, "Reading Images: Multimodality, Representation and New Media", and an excerpt from Literacy in the New Media Age

(Group B-BR) Thursday, November 20: E-Reading

  1. Matthew Battles, “In Defense of the Kindle”
  2. Alison Flood, “Readers Absorb Less on Kindles than On Paper”
  3. Craig Mod, “Post-Artifact Books and Publishing”, “Embracing the Digital Book”, and “Platforming Books”

(Group A) Thursday, November 20: Writing Online

TA Kevin Smith will lead this class

Lab #13a: Multimodal Composition

  1. Gunther Kress, "Reading Images: Multimodality, Representation and New Media", and an excerpt from Literacy in the New Media Age

Monday, November 24: Writing Online II/Unessay Workshop

Lab #13b: Multimodal Composition

Monday, December 1:

  1. Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store (to the end of “The Bookstore” section)

Wednesday, December 3: Final Exercises

  1. Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store (to end of novel)

(extended) Wednesday, December 10: Unessay #2 DUE!