Themes in Literature: Making Books

English 1160
Making Books
Section 01
Heather Asbeck
Arts & Science 311

Like books? Like making things?

In this hands-on class we will consider the relationship between texts and their containers by using a variety of literary works: from manuscripts, printed books, and periodicals, to comic books, artists books, zines, and digital editions. We will conduct reading and writing experiments, participate in hands-on making sessions, and visit Ellis Library’s Special Collections department, the printing press lab, and the fibers studio. Students will gain experience preparing parchment, using quill and dip pens, making paper, marbling paper, setting type and printing text using vintage presses, and digitizing a fragile text. Along with textual selections from Special Collections and digitized books, we will mix in some readings on book studies and bibliography to help us investigate how books have evolved over time, what’s involved in making different types of books, what we can discover about literature by examining the container it inhabits, what science can tell us about books, and where books are headed in the 21st century.