The course will examine the production and circulation of knowledge in light of changing technologies, institutions and textual forms. An overview and comparison of textual transmission in oral, manuscript, print and electronic communication environments will include regulatory frameworks and the history of “intellectual property” (from attribution, authorship, to participatory ownership of creation). It will examine the current scholarship relevant for understanding books, documents and record manifestations comparatively. The focus on the book trades, web spheres, and socio-technical systems such as digital libraries will prompt questions about the nature of texts (print, non-print, and digital), their reception, associated literacy practices, communities and institutional contexts. The course will present a critique of the technological revolution perspective.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Understand how information is created, preserved and communicated in different historical periods.
- Compare and contrast textual transmission processes in print and electronic environments and communication shifts.
- Understand the structure of texts and protocols for their reception in a historical framework.
- Examine theoretical issues and selected in-depth study of significant case studies in the current multidisciplinary scholarship of electronic and print culture.
- Examine methods and sources for the study of print and electronic texts and application of these methods for in-depth study of such texts, their production, circulation or use.