This is the new course that I proposed (successfully) to the department. Haven’t yet found an available course number for it, but it will be a joint undergraduate/graduate course. If it passes the College curriculum committee, I believe I’ll be teaching it in fall 2004:
4xx/5xx 442/542(course number still to be determined): Histories of Writing, Reading, and Publishing
Catalog Description: A study of selected topics concerning the material practices of writing, reading, and publishing within specific cultural and historical contexts. Issues examined may include authorship, education, information technologies, libraries, literacy, periodicals, popular literature, publishers, and communities of readers.
Rationale: This course would draw upon the expertise of any one of several faculty members in the department whose research and teaching already involve many of these issues. How the course would fulfill curricular requirements of a particular student would depend on the individual faculty member’s design of the course. Thus, a version that emphasizes seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England would not count for the same category as a version that focuses on turn-of-the-century America. Various permutations of this course will offer students the opportunity to explore the material practices by which writing (literary, political, religious, journalistic, educational, etc.) has historically been created, reproduced, distributed, and consumed. Also under possible consideration will be the imaginative means by which cultures construct such seemingly self-evident categories as ‘author,’ ‘literature,’ ‘copyright,’ ‘literacy,’ and ‘reading.’