E 384K • Introduction to Bibliography and Textual Studies
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
As a discipline, bibliography investigates the technical and social processes of textual creation, production, transmission, and reception. Bibliographers explore textual versions and their material forms, the technical and political facts of textual dissemination and control, and the variety of textual meanings and social effects. Bibliography is concerned with texts in all their variety--not just written or printed texts, but also filmed, taped, or digitized texts. Finally, bibliography examines and analyzes the connections within texts between form and meaning and how textual form and meaning are established by and interact with social, political, and cultural institutions.
This course introduces students to the practice and theory of textual research, emphasizing bibliographical approaches. The primary focus will be on printed texts--especially literary texts--produced and distributed as books in Great Britain and the United States, but students will also be encouraged to consider other texts, including electronic and non-print texts or texts produced in non-Western or post-colonial societies. Because books and manuscripts remain the primary tools of literary and humanistic study and research, one goal of the course will be to teach students to use these tools with skill and sophistication. The course meets regularly in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center and will introduce students to the printed and manuscript resources of the HRHRC collections.
The primary textbooks for the class will be R. B. McKerrow's classic An Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Students and Philip Gaskell's A New Introduction to Bibliography. These will be supplemented by articles by Peter W. M. Blayney, Fredson Bowers, Roger Chartier, Robert Darnton, Philip Gaskell, W. W. Greg, Jerome J. McGann, D. F. McKenzie, William St Clair, G. Thomas Tanselle, and others. The readings are supplemented by dvds (required) and videos (recommended) that are on reserve in FAC 301. As part of the course students will have the option of participating in a printing laboratory where they will set type and print a broadside. If students desire, several field trips will also be organized.