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Core Courses

BKS 1001H: Introduction to Book History

Prof. Thomas Keymer (Dept. of English), Fall 2018, Mondays 2:00 – 5:00 pm, McLean-Hunter Room, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

This foundational course, required for all BHPC students in their first term, will introduce students to basic topics such as the semiotics of the book; orality and writing systems; book production from manuscript to the latest computer technology; the development of printing; the concept of authorship; copyright; censorship; the economics of book production and distribution; libraries and the organization of information; principles of bibliographical description; print in other formats (newspapers, magazines, advertisements, etc.); reading and readership; editorial theory and practice. We will also study many artifacts and tools of the trade in situ through visits to the Massey College Bibliography Room and Coach House Books.

Sample syllabus (Fall 2017): Galey_BKS1001H_f2017.pdf


BKS 1002H: Book History in Practice

Prof. Alan Galey (Faculty of Information), Winter 2019, Mondays 2:00 – 5:00 pm, Colin Friesen Room, Massey College

Offered in the Winter Term and required for all Master’s students in the BHPC Program, this course develops many of the themes from BKS 1001H in a seminar format. The approach of the course reflects what David Greetham calls “the disciplinary interrelatedness of all aspects of the study of the book” (Textual Scholarship: An Introduction, p. 2). The course consists of seminars on key topics in book history, punctuated by case studies of particular books, events, and debates. These case studies are designed to pull together ongoing threads of inquiry from the readings, and to allow students to work outward from specific artifacts to general questions. Prerequisite: BKS 1001H.

Sample syllabus (Winter 2017): Galey_BKS1002H_w2017.pdf


BKS 2000H: Advanced Seminar in Book History and Print Culture

An advanced seminar required for all doctoral students in the BHPC Program, this course will vary in content from year to year depending upon the expertise of the faculty member appointed to lead it. The term-paper research project will be open to work in all disciplines, periods, and languages in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisite or corequisite for BHPC students: BKS 1001H. May be available without prerequisite to students outside the program by permission of instructor.

2018-2019 seminar:

The Medieval Book Then and Now

Prof. Adam S. Cohen (Department of Art), schedule and location TBA

This seminar primarily investigates the different ways that people embellished books in the Middle Ages and the meaning those held for a wide range of contemporary makers and users. Focus will be paid to the religious, political, and social messages communicated by the inclusion of decoration in these European books, which range from Gospels, to literature and history, to private devotional works. In addition, we will explore the methods and motivations behind the study, preservation, and presentation of medieval manuscripts in the modern world (including digital platforms). Students will be encouraged to develop their required presentation on a topic suitable to their disciplinary or intellectual interests, which might extend to non-European medieval material.

Please follow this link for a list of previous offerings of BKS2000H.


BKS2001H: Practicum in Book History and Print Culture

An individual project involving the use of primary sources, approved for academic credit by the Program Committee of BHPC, undertaken under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty, and intended to serve as a bridge from coursework to the dissertation. For example, an exhibition catalogue, web site, analytical or critical bibliography, scholarly edition of a short work, or independent contribution to an ongoing research project. The Practicum should be completed by the end of the student’s coursework within the home unit, or the summer thereafter. Enrolment normally limited to doctoral students in the BHPC Program. May be available to master’s students in the BHPC program under special circumstances; consult the Director or Program Committee.

Please follow this link for a list of recent practicum projects.

A proposal must be submitted to the Program Committee for approval by November 1 for a Winter Term course and April 1 for a Summer or Fall course.

The form is available online in PDF format: Book History and Print Culture Practicum Form. The form and proposal should be submitted by email (preferably) to the Director and copied to the Program Co-ordinator, or in hard copy to the BHPC mailbox in the Porter’s Lodge at Massey College. The form fields for student’s signature and supervisor’s signature may be completed digitally using Adobe (on Macs, Adobe Preview may not allow digital signature). Anyone encountering difficulties with the digital signature fields should feel free to print, sign, scan, and email the form, or to submit in hard copy. A copy of a successful proposal may be requested from the Director.

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