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Alan Tully, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Spring 2006

HIS 386L • Hist of Book Col Spn/Brit Amer

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39155 -TBA


Course Description

The history of the book is a vibrant new discipline that studies books as material objects whose changing patterns of diffusion and form seem to be related to profound cultural transformations. It is also a discipline that studies the history of reading (e.g., from intensive to extensive and from social to private readings) and authorship (the history of copyright; the birth of the author, etc). Finally the new discipline studies the tradition of "writing" as a whole (manuscripts; notary records; writing with images and non-alphabetical scripts [or writing without words]) and the history of other means of communication (oral speech and images). The history of the book in colonial Spanish and British America will be the subject of this seminar. We'll use the fabulous resources of the Benson and Ransom Libraries to get a first-hand acquaintance with colonial traditions of communication (books, writing without words, speech, images) and therefore with important aspects of these societies. This is a writing and reading intensive course in which student participation is vital (10 % final grade). Students will turn in weekly reports on reading assignments (40 % of final grade) and a final 20 page, double spaced, research paper (50 % final grade).

Reading, writing, and research are activities that if done well will enhance your professional lives regardless of whether you pursue history as major or not. You will learn in this class to read well (yes, reading is difficult and takes much training): to identify the arguments of books and articles and to take a critical, INFORMED position as you do so (and to be informed you have to do a lot of reading). You'll learn to do original research and develop a point of view good that is articulated through solid, persuasive writing. Lesser goals of this seminar are you to get acquainted with the literature on various aspects of the sub discipline of the history of the book, particularly as it pertains to colonialism.


Most of the following books are available at UT Coop. Leonard's Books of the Brave is out of print but can be read on line (see reading schedule below) or bought used via Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, reprint, 1993) $ 16. ISBN: 0521447704 Donna Merwick, Death of a Notary: Conquest and Change in Colonial New York (Cornell, 1999) $19. ISBN: 0801487889 Barbara Mundy. The Mapping of New Spain : Indigenous Cartography and the Maps of the Relaciones Geográficas (Chicago, 2000) $ 25. ISBN: 0226550974 David D. Hall. Cultures of Print: Essays in the History of the Book (University of Massachusetts, 1996) $ 19. ISBN: 1558490493 Irving A. Leonard. Books of the Brave: Being an Account of Books and of Men in the Spanish Conquest and Settlement of the 16Th-Century New World (University of California Press, 1949, reprint 1992). $ 22. ISBN: 0520078160 Fernando Bouza, Comunication, Knowledge, and Memory in Early Modern Spain, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004) $ 32.50. ISBN 0812238052 David Shields. Civil Tongues. Polite Letters in British America (University of North Carolina, reprint 1997) $ 21.95. ISBN: 0807846562 Hilary E. Wyss. Writing Indians: Literacy, Christianity, and Native Community in early America (University Massachusetts Press, 2000) Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book Print and Knowledge in the Making (University of Chicago, 1998) Elizabeth Hill Boone and Walter Mignolo, eds. Writing without Words. Alternative Literacies in Mesoamerica and the Andes (Duke, 1994) Angel Rama. The Lettered City (Duke, 1996) Michael Warner. The Letters of the Republic. Publication and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century America (Harvard, 1990) Benedict Anderson. Imagined Communities (revised edition; Verso, 1991) William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, Elements of Style, Fourth Edition (new Yoork, 2000)


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