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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Spring 2006


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39865 TH
4:30 PM-7:30 PM
BEN 1.106

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.


Tentative readings: 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


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