ENGLISH 407 - Topics in English Language and Literature
Fall 2022, Section 004 - History of the Book
Instruction Mode: Section 004 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


The book is dead; long live the book! From papyrus to the printing press and from the codex to Kindle, how we read has shaped what and why we read in profound ways. In this class, we will discuss a history stretching from the birth of the modern book in the Middle Ages to its rebirth in the era of print and the digital age. Throughout, we will move beyond books’ function as repositories of information to understand them as physical artifacts, attending to their construction, fonts, layout, binding, size, traces of their usage, and so on. Using examples in the university's diverse collections, we will come together to investigate papyri, manuscripts, early prints, political pamphlets, cookbooks, children’s books, graphic novels, books as art objects, and more. By developing a hands-on relationship with books as historical objects, we will be better able to grapple with their position in the attention economy of the twenty-first century. In the end, we will collaborate on an online or in-person exhibition.

Note: Course is open to interested graduate students (who will enroll as History 700) after an initial consultation. Please email the instructor for details.

Course Requirements:

Team work on a public-facing project

Intended Audience:

Upper-level students of all disciplines

Class Format:

Lab class


ENGLISH 407 - Topics in English Language and Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
003 (SEM)
 In Person
W 1:00PM - 4:00PM
004 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ENGLISH 407 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)