Textual Criticism: Theory and the Arts
Seminar in Printed Texts
This is one of the four required core seminars in the graduate Textual Studies Program (others are Oral and Manuscript Texts, Hypertext, and Textual Theory). It gives an introduction to the history of printing as an art and a means of textual transmission, as well as a practical view of hand and machine press printing. The seminar includes introductory surveys of such topics as descriptive and analytical bibliography (we tear some books apart, virtually), the production, transmission, and editing of printed texts, the history of the book, and current textual and editorial theory. Students will get practical experience in the editing of printed texts, and also be able to see up close how a hand press works (it doesn‘t mean "press your hand"). Seminar sessions are held in Suzzallo Special Collections in order to provide direct access to examples of early modern print and book history; Sandra Kroupa, the Book Arts and Rare Book Curator, will be joining the seminar to provide instruction and guide workshop sessions in her fields of expertise. Cynthia Wall, the chair of the English Department at the University of Virginia, whose distinguished scholarship ranges from literary editing to critical analysis of the "text" of early modern London urban and social spaces, will visit the seminar in February for informal discussion as well as giving a formal public talk. The seminar professor too will share his possibly frightening inside view of the messy workings of a newly completed three-volume editorial project on Henry Fielding for Oxford Press.