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ASIAN 541 A: Seminar in Asian Textual and Digital Cultures

yellow woven rug
Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
SAV 167
Jennifer Dubrow
Jennifer Dubrow

Syllabus Description:

Image Fasana-e Dilpazir.png

Cover page, Fasana-e Dilpazir (Lucknow: Naval Kishore Press, c. 1875).

The History of the Book in South Asia

Asian 541

MW 1:30-3:20 PM

167 Savery Hall

Professor Jennifer Dubrow

Office: M212 Gowen Hall (note: on mezzanine level, above 2nd floor)

Office hours: M 3:30-4:30 PM


Course description:

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 cultures; print capitalism; print technologies such as woodblock and lithography; periodicals; postcolonial book cultures; and graphic novels. The course will also offer guest lectures and a visit to Special Collections.

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. 

Course Objectives:

  • To become familiar with recent scholarship and be able to discuss key issues related to the history of the book in South Asia
  • To relate pre-modern textual cultures to late 19th-century and early 20th-century print cultures in South Asia, and to identify convergences and divergences with postcolonial and present-day textual and visual practices
  • To develop a critical perspective toward the field of "book history" and its applicability to the context of South Asia
  • To apply theories and methodologies learned in this class to primary texts related to your main area of study


Link to Course Schedule

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Course Requirements

Catalog Description: 
Topics may differ with each offering but will include aspects of textual and digital production in Asian cultures.
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:50pm