LANG 2015 Cultural History of Books and Reading

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101967

Coordinator Sara Knox Opens in new window

Description This unit examines the development of the book as a material and cultural object, and the evolution of cultures of reading from codex and clay tablet to digital book and e-Reader. Exploring the historical and technical change taking the book from singular object (painstakingly copied by hand and read by a learned elite) to 'book' as notional object (deliverable 'content', in a range of formats, to readers on demand), this unit focuses on moments of contestation and crisis in reading, writing and print culture: copyright and the role of authorship, censorship, the plundering of libraries, and that most radical proscription, book-burning.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Restrictions Successful completion of 40 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the development of the book as a cultural and material object.
  2. Contribute to contemporary debates about the future of the book and of reading.
  3. Apply the knowledge gained in the production of an audiobook extract of their own chosen text.
  4. Critically evaluate issues of medium and form in relation to reader experience and engagement.

Subject Content

Topics may include:
. History of the material text: clay tablets to codex
. History of the material text: from the Gutenberg revolution to the industrialisation of the book
. Non-textual uses of the book: bookiflage
. Bibliophiles and collectors
. Reading the reader: literary representations of reading
. Reading communities: gender, genre and class
. Copyright and the cult of the author
. Censorship
. The evolution of the library
. Book-burning and the destruction of libraries
. Contemporary reading cultures and practices: the reading group
. The reader as listener: the rise of audiobooks
. The E-Reader: Person? Or gadget?

Assessment

The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay 1,500 words 30 N Individual
Presentation 5 minute AV video + 5 minute AV Audio (1,000 words approx.) 50 N Individual
Peer Review 800 words 20 N Individual

Summer B Day

The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Presentation 5 minute AV video + 5 minute AV Audio + 750 words 60 N Individual
Essay 1,500 words 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Subject Reader

Teaching Periods