Bibliography (bibli'ogrefi) from Greek bibliographia "book-writing" 1. The writing of books. 2. The systematic description and history of books, their authorship, printing, publication, editions, etc. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. (1991)
Bibliography and Literary Research
This course has recently been brought up to date in an attempt to incorporate the electronic dimension of both bibliography and literary research. The course traditionally involves some analytical bibliography (the systematic description and history of books--their authorship, printing, publication, editions, etc.), as well as a bit of codicology (archaeology of the book), and some basic techniques of literary research.
The new Bibliography and Literary Research will revolve around three questions:
What is a book? As always, it will be necessary to know something about the past in order to understand the present and future, so we will begin with a short history of the book and issues of handling and preservation. We will talk to a publisher who still sets type the old-fashioned way and prints the pages of his books on a nineteenth-century printing press. Then we will visit a small hand book-binding operation to find out how books used to be bound. More modern publishers use the computer and modern machinery to produce the hardbacks and paperbacks we all use, and a trip to a modern publishing house will augment the book-learning with visual experience.
What is a publication? In the middle third of the course, we will deal not only with paper publications (books and articles), but Web "publications" as well. We will read and discuss on-line articles and book reviews, access electronic texts (of Moby Dick or Paradise Lost, an Emily Dickinson poem or an Alice Walker story) and discuss their accuracy and value, and float through hypertexts, looking for some solid ground on which to land in order to understand and be able to evaluate their many-layered structures. In order to understand the Web, we will all have to explore it--actively. Along the way, copyright and censorship issues are bound to rear their ugly heads, and we will slay those dragons as they arise. No one will assume that you know anything about computers. Detailed and personal instructions will be provided every step of the way, but you will be expected to ask when you need help and to help those around you who know less about computers than you do.
What is a text? Finally, we will try to define the words "text" and "edition" as applied to an electronic document, discuss the predicted demise of the book as we know it, wrestle with the questions surrounding the documenting of a piece of information "taken" from hyperspace and the implications of the intensive borrowing that go on from one document to another on the internet.
Required materials: Your primary textbooks will be David C. Greetham, Textual Scholarship: An Introduction E. Spiekermann and E. M. Ginger, Stop Stealing Sheep
Your research/reference helps will be James L. Harner, Literary Research Guide, Second Edition N. L. Baker and N. Huling, A Research Guide for Undergraduate Students Dawn Rodrigues, The Research Paper and the World Wide Web The American Heritage Dictionary or comparable hardback desk dictionary
Course requirements: As in all courses, you are expected to attend all classes, to bring the relevant textbook(s) with you, and to read the assignments before the work is discussed. If you must miss a class, I expect to hear about it beforehand. (Contact me by phone or in person; written notes involve delay and are therefore not a good form of communication). In the event that you must miss a class, you remain responsible for the reading, any announcements or handouts, and the material covered in that class (get to know your classmates), and you are expected to be prepared for the following class. Absence will be no excuse for not knowing class material, written or oral.
Your final grade will be made up of:
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