English 275 - Fall, 2017

Proseminar in Research Practices

Class Information

Instructor: Ziser, Michael
CRN: 62692
Time: T 3:10-5:00
Location: 120 Voorhies
Focus: Method


Methodology Proseminar:
The History of the Book, Publishing, Authorship, & Reading

What can be learned by attending to the production, distribution, and consumption histories of texts? And what does one need to know to do get started?

This 2-unit course aims to provide UCD graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences with a concrete knowledge of the history of printed matter and associated social technologies in the Anglophone world (though much of the material will be relevant to non-Anglophone sources), acquaint them with scholarly resources for further training in and study of that subject, and to begin to demystify the experience of archival research on textual materials. This course will treat select materials and topics from the early modern print revolution through the "death of the book" in the 21st century.


*the book as a material object: overview of history of paper, printing, and binding technology, periodical and newspaper production, print formats, etc., with a focus on how this might matter when doing archival research.

*print distribution schemes and networks: history of book marketing and its connection to the development of genres; use of publishing house archives and business materials; editorial networks and what they might illuminate; etc.

*using major print archives (concentrating on Shields and Bancroft but also virtually touring other big ones); thinking about applying to visit specific archives.


Grading will be based on participation and completion of short research assignments focused on the student's are of interest.