RCHUMS 306 - History of Writing in the West: The Book and the Body
Fall 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: RC Humanities (RCHUMS)
Department: LSA Residential College
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/29/22 - 12/9/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Sometimes, speaking of an author, we talk about her or his “body of work;” we will sometimes say, “I devoured it,” as if the book were food we’d taken into our own flesh. Book and body are linked by metaphors--dead or dying metaphors now, perhaps; living and surprisingly literal metaphors in the past.

In this class, we’ll study the materialities of writing and reading, putting the distant past in dialogue with more recent pasts and various imagined futures.

We will make ancient Roman notebooks with our own hands. We’ll make ink from a medieval recipe, sharpen goose quills, and write on parchment. We will look with care and delight at some amazing hand-made books. We’ll read poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. We will watch movies. What we’ll study: poetry by Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson (one of whose poems appears above right, written on the back of an envelope), a novel by Italo Calvino (If on a winter’s night a traveler), Jonathan Nolan’s film Memento, Spike Jonze’s film her, other good things

Course Requirements:

regular attendance & active participation; midterm and final essays, regular short writing assignments.

Intended Audience:

undergraduates in all fields with an interest in the topic


RCHUMS 306 - History of Writing in the West: The Book and the Body
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22

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