Material Texts

This course focuses on the material culture of reading, writing, and printing from 1400 to 1900 in England and America, although students are welcome to develop their own topics based upon the Beinecke’s collections. We do hands-on research, drawing on the extraordinary collections of manuscripts and printed texts in the Beinecke. The course offers students an opportunity to explore archives and develop publishable projects relevant to their future research. Topics include theories of materiality; fetishism and relics; “persons” and “things”; the bible and the body; authorship and anonymity; writing as a material practice; the manuscript production and circulation of poetry from John Donne to Emily Dickinson; graffiti; letter-writing.

Taught by Peter Stallybrass Spring 2020
Course Number: 
ENGL 588