E 384K • The Medieval Book
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
In recent years medievalists from all disciplines have begun to consider the importance of the manuscript context in which texts, images, and musical notation were recorded and viewed. The size and gathering structure of a manuscript, page layout, letter size and color, and kind and placement of extra-textual material, for example, reflected the scribe's sense of the material he or she recorded at the same time that they helped to aid and control the medieval reader's use of the manuscript and affected his or her understanding of its contents. This course will explore and integrate three aspects of ongoing research: the role and perception of books as objects, issues of literacy and reading, and "the archaeology of the book." In the process of doing so, we will treat such topics as secular and religious libraries and centers of book production, women as readers and users of books, the illumination of texts, and the collecting of manuscripts. The course is intended as an introduction to tools for the study of manuscripts in the original and to basic questions surrounding the use of these objects as primary source materials.
McKittrick, Carolingians and the Written Word
Carruthers, The Book of Memory
Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record
De Hamel, Scribes and Illuminators
There will also be a (very) large packet of required and recommended readings. All required readings will be in English, but students will be encouraged to read materials in whatever additional languages they know. The selection of some of the readings will be determined by the interests and disciplines of the students in the class.