ENGL428Y: Book 2.

0: The History of the Book & The Future of Reading Spring 2010 Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-4:45 pm Tawes Hall 0201 Section 0101 January 26–May 12 Kari M. Kraus, PhD Office: 3217 Tawes Hall Office hrs: Tuesdays 2:15-3:15 pm or by appt. karimkraus@gmail.com Department of English 2119 Tawes Hall University of Maryland College Park, Maryland

INTRODUCTION When Shakespeare's Polonius, acting as spy for King Claudius, encounters an aggrieved Hamlet pacing about with an open book, he asks the prince what he is reading. Hamlet's evasive response--"words, words, words"--intentionally misconstrues the question, preferring to treat it as an inquiry about the material properties of the book rather than an expression of curiosity regarding its meaning or subject matter. Taking a cue from this exchange, this course situates the physicality or "thingness" of books--those "poor bits of rag-paper [printed] with black ink," as Thomas Carlyle once described them--within book culture more broadly. Our approach will be expansive as we survey antecedents of the book ranging from the clay tablets of the ancient Near East to the papyrus scrolls of antiquity to the manuscript and printed codices of the middle ages and early modern era. This historical backdrop will set the stage for a speculative consideration of the future of the book, including developments in areas such as electronic paper, wireless reading devices, mobile ereaders, distributed storytelling, DIY publishing experiments, and locative narratives and place-based authoring. Over the course of the semester we will test the elasticity of our mental models by looking at extreme examples of reading and writing technologies, from edible books to self-destructing poems to a nano-edition of the Hebrew Bible inscribed on a surface smaller than the head of a pin. We will read primary texts by William Blake, Johanna Drucker, Cory Doctorow, William Gibson, and the Chinese artist Xu Bing, as well as secondary texts by a variety of influential scholars. Finally, we will supplement our cultural and technological investigations with forays into the cognitive science of reading, delving into how our eyes scan and our brains process a page or screen of text.

In addition to class participation and lab exercises, course requirements will consist of a short paper, blog entries, one longer paper or project, and a final exam. READING DEVICES This class is unique in that it will serve as the basis for a research project examining how students use portable electronic reading devices in the academic environment. Each of you will be provided with a free prototype electronic reader for the duration of the semester that has been developed by a UMD professor and graduate student. The device will contain materials for the course, reference texts (including the Oxford English Dictionary), and special tools like a notebook. You will be asked to use this device to do much of required reading for the semester, and naturally it will feed into some of our class discussions about the future of the book. While our tools will obviously be very new, the course content won’t be any “harder” for that reason, nor will you be asked to do any additional work beyond providing occasional feedback to the researchers. You can choose to not participate in the study or terminate your participation in the study at any time. If you received an electronic device for the semester, you will need to return the device upon your decision to terminate your participation. A copy of your data on the device will be provided on DVD after the device is returned. Participation or non-participation in the study will have absolutely no bearing on any aspect of your course grade. We hope you will choose to give us the benefit of your participation. This is a unique opportunity to play a part in cutting edge research designing the next generation of books. TEXTS The following texts are required and can be purchased online or through the campus bookstore: 1. Simon Eliot and Jonathan Rose, A Companion to the History of the Book (WileyBlackwell, 2009). ISBN: 140519278X 2. J.C. Hutchins and Jordan Weisman, Personal Effects: Dark Art, Har/Pap. (St. Martin's Griffin, 2009). 3. Ronald Johnson, Radi Os (Flood Editions, 2005). 0974690244 4. Stanislas Dehaene, Reading in the Brain: The Science and Evolution of a Human Invention, 1st ed. (Viking Adult, 2009). 0670021105 5. B.S. Johnson, The Unfortunates, First Edition. (New Directions, 2009). 0811217434 Additional readings will be distributed as handouts, accessible on the WWW, made available on Blackboard (our course management site), or pre-loaded onto our prototype ebook devices.

It is your responsibility to bring copies of the required readings--whether print or electronic-to class on the day we're slated to discuss them. COURSE POLICIES AND EVALUATION Academic Accommodations. If you have a documented disability, you should contact Disability Support Services at 0126 Shoemaker Hall. Each semester students with documented disabilities should apply to DSS for accommodation request forms which you can provide to your professors as proof of your eligibility for accommodations. The rules for eligibility and the types of accommodations a student may request can be reviewed on the DSS web site at http://www.counseling.umd.edu/DSS/receiving_serv.html. Religious Observances. The University System of Maryland policy provides that students should not be penalized because of observances of their religious beliefs, students shall be given an opportunity, whenever feasible, to make up within a reasonable time any academic assignment that is missed due to individual participation in religious observances. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor of any intended absences for religious observances in advance. Notice should be provided as soon as possible but no later than the end of the schedule adjustment period. Faculty should further remind students that prior notification is especially important in connection with final exams, since failure to reschedule a final exam before the conclusion of the final examination period may result in loss of credits during the semester. The problem is especially likely to arise when final exams are scheduled on Saturdays. Academic Integrity. The University of Maryland has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council. This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course. It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit http://www.studenthonorcouncil.umd.edu/whatis.html The University of Maryland is one of a small number of universities with a studentadministered Honors Code and an Honors Pledge, available on the web at http://www.jpo.umd.edu/aca/honorpledge.html. The code prohibits students from cheating on exams, plagiarizing papers, submitting the same paper for credit in two courses without authorization, buying papers, submitting fraudulent documents, and forging signatures. The University Senate encourages instructors to ask students to write the following signed statement on each examination or assignment: "I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this examination (or assignment).” Late Work. All assigned work is due on the date given on the course calendar, unless you have extenuating circumstances (for which you will generally be required to provide

documentation) and have made specific prior arrangements with me. Late work will be docked up to one full letter grade (or not accepted at all if more than a week overdue). If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations with me, please let me know as soon as possible. Late Arrivals. Attendance will be taken at the start of each class. My policy is to count two late arrivals as one absence. Attendance. Because it is a relatively small class, ENGL428Y allows for far more student input than a large lecture course would permit: you have a voice in class discussions and your contributions add to our collective knowledge. If you are absent, you will be missed: the class simply won't function optimally without you. I will confer with anyone who seems to be having trouble making it to class regularly, and may ask such persons to drop the course. Please note that it is your responsibility to contact me about material you may have missed. Email. You are welcome to email me to clarify an assignment, schedule an appointment, notify me about an illness or university-sanctioned absence, or within limits discuss other course-related matters. Please do not send me "what did I miss" emails if you were absent or "why did I get this grade" emails in response to graded assignments. Questions of this nature need to be handled in person. Come see me during office hours or set up an appointment. Additionally, please do not submit assignments to me via email unless I have specifically requested that you do so. Assignments. I will collect individual assignments and projects on the dates specified on the syllabus and return them to you with written feedback and a letter grade. All grading will use the university's plus/minus system. The requirements for the course, and their weight in determining your final grade, are as follows: --Participation: 15% (attendance, class discussion, blog entries, in-class exercises). --Short Paper: 20%. --Selected Blog Entries: 20%. --Research project: 35%. --Final exam: 10%. WEEK BY WEEK COURSE DESCRIPTION (tentative schedule, subject to revision; any changes will be announced in class) Note: “CHB” = Companion to the History of the Book
week 1 overview due readings assignments

tuesday 26 january thursday 28 january

Introduction to ENGL 428Y Methods and Approaches

* Theory of affordances (Wikipedia and Interaction

week 2



The Material tuesday 2 Text: Before the february Codex

thursday 4 The Material february Text: Beyond the West week 3 overview due

tuesday 9 The Codex in the february West Printing Workshop (pending scheduling with Pyramid Atlantic) overview due

Design Encyclopedia) *Skeuomorph *Matthew Kirschenbaum, “Bookscapes: Modeling Books in Electronic Space” (Blackboard) readings *“The Clay Tablet Book in Sumer, Assyria, and Babylonia” (CHB), pp. 67-83 “The Papyrus Roll in Egypt, Greece, and Rome” (CHB), pp. 84-94 *“China” (CHB), pp. 97-110 *“The Hebraic Book” (CHB), pp. 153-164 *“The Islamic Book” (CHB), pp. 165-176 readings *“Parchment and Paper: Manuscript Culture 11001500” (CHB), pp. 194-206 *“The Gutenberg Revolutions” (CHB), pp. 207-219

assignments In-Class Lab Exercise: Writing on Clay

assignments In-Class Lab Exercise: Book Formats

thursday 11 february week 4

readings Reading in the Brain (Introduction, Chpts. 1-3)

tuesday 16 Reading and february Cognition

assignments Assignment: Paper #1 (due: 2 March)

thursday 18 february week 5

Writing and Cognition



*Reading in the Brain (Chpt. 4) *Selection from Proust and the Squid (ebook reader) *Procne and Philomela (from Ovid’s Metamorphoses) (ebook reader) readings assignments

tuesday 23 Reading and february Cognition thursday 25 february week 6 ARGs and Transmedia Storytelling due Paper #1

overview ARGs and tuesday 2 Transmedia march Storytelling ARGs and thursday 4 Transmedia march Storytelling week 7 overview ARGs and tuesday 9 Transmedia march Storytelling The Illustrated thursday Book: Prints and 11 march Printmaking week 8 tuesday 16 march thursday 18 march week 9 ovcrview no class: spring break! no class: spring break! overview

Reading in the Brain (Chpts. 58) *Jill Walker, “Distributed Narrative” (ebook reader) *Jeffrey Kim, et al, “Storytelling in New Media: The Case of Alternate Reality Games” (ebook reader) readings assignments Personal Effects

Personal Effects due readings Personal Effects *Bamber Gascoigne, selection from How to Identify Prints (Blackboard) *William Blake Archive *Joseph Viscomi, “William Blake’s Illuminated Printing” readings assignments assignments



tuesday 23 Artists’ Books march


Altered Books

readings *Megan Benton, “The Book as Art” (CHB), pp. 493-507 *Johanna Drucker, Artists’ Books Online (in class) *Recommended: Johanna Drucker, “The Artist’s Book as Idea and Form” Ronald Johnson, Radi Os

assignments Assignment: Selected Blog Entries (due: 1 April)

25 march week 10 overview tuesday 30 The Book march Unbound thursday 1 The Book april Unbound week 11 overview


readings B. S. Johnson, The Unfortunates B. S. Johnson, The Unfortunates


Blog Entries due

“Digital” Reading: tuesday 6 Pointing, april Choreographed, and Interactive Hands

thursday 8 Metaphors of the april Book

week 12



*Reading and Writing Machines tuesday 13 *Visual april Representations of Reading

readings *Aya Karpinska's Shadows Never Sleep (in class; available for free from the Apple App store) *Anne Mangen, “Hypertext Fiction Reading: Haptics and Immersion (Blackboard) *William Sherman, “Toward A History of the Manicule” (ebook device) *Ivan Illich, Selection from In the Vineyard of the Text (Blackboard) *“Some Non-Textual Uses of Books” (CHB), pp. 480-492 *Browse the International Edible Books Festival website *Publishing and Printing Food *Recommended: Anne Fadiman, “The Literary Glutton” (ebook device) readings assignments *Thomas Harrison’s Ark of Studies (Blackboard), Ramelli’s Book Wheel, Thomas Jefferson’s Revolving Bookstand and Polygraph, Google’s Book Scanners *Paolo and Francesca (ebook device) *Reproductions from The Look of Reading (in class)

Final research projects: due Tuesday, 11 may assignments

thursday 15 april

Not Reading and Distant Reading

week 13



The Limits of Reading: Illegible Books, tuesday 20 Microscopic Text, april and AutoDestructive Poems On-Site Visit to Special Collections or Book Conservation Department overview

*Selections from Pierre Bayard, How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read (ebook device) *Selection from Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, and Trees (Blackboard) *Recommended: NEA Report on Reading at Risk (ebook device) readings assignments *Xu Bing, Book from the Sky (in class) *Robert Wasler’s Microscopic Text (in class) *Nano-Bible *Miniature Books (in class) *The Agrippa Files (William Gibson)

thursday 22 april

week 14


Publication tuesday 27 Models; the april Circuit of the Book Publication Models; the Circuit of the Book week 15 overview tuesday 4 *Publication may Models Continued *Japanese Cell Phone Novels thursday 29 april

Readings *“The British Book Market, 1600-1800” (CHB), pp. 232246 *Case Study: Cory Doctorow, With a Little Help *Distributed Proofreading *“reCAPTCHA: Human-Based Character Recognition” (Blackboard) *Case Study: Emoji Dick (translation of Melville’s Moby Dick into Japanese Emoji icons) *“The Revolution Will Be



In-Class Lab Exercise: Distributed Proofreading assignments

Crowdsourced (and Cute)” *“Call Me Ishmael. The End” *Mika, Sky of Love (Japanese cell phone novel) The Future of the Book (Place-Based thursday 6 Authoring, may Augmented Reality, Ebooks, Mobile Readers) week 16 overview due The Future of the Book tuesday 11 (Place-Based Final may Authoring, Projects Augmented Reality, Ebooks)





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