Fall 2019: NEW COURSE!
Boundaries of the Book: The History of the Book in South Asia
The burgeoning field of “book history” has tended to focus on the history of the book in Western culture, and to premise the revolutionary nature of the invention of movable type. But what does book history look like in other regions of the world? Do other cultural and technological trajectories complicate our perspective on the Gutenberg revolution? What, specifically, can we learn from the rich literary and material cultures of South Asia?
This course introduces the key issues related to the history of the book in South Asia. Topics covered include manuscript and pre-modern print cultures; technologies such as woodblock and lithography; print capitalism; readerships; serialized fiction and literature; presses, prizes, and publishing houses; periodicals; and the digital present.
This course is intended for graduate students interested in textual studies, the history of the book, and print technologies and cultures. The course counts as a core elective for the graduate certificate in Textual and Digital Studies. No background in South Asian languages is required, but students with proficiency in a South Asian language will be able to complete a final project using the language of specialty. Assignments will include hands-on work with print texts from South Asia; short writing assignments; leading a discussion; and a final project using primary sources.