21L.715 | Fall 2015 | Undergraduate

Media in Cultural Context


0. Prologue
1 Introduction and preliminaries. What are media? What is a book?  
1. How to Read a Book
2-3 In class: Introduction to book handling (half-class in Special Collecions)  
2. Mesopotamia – Cuneiform tablet – Malafouris (“Extended Cognition”)
4-5 In class: Cuneiform tablet Session 5: First of three position paper due-dates
3. Reading in the West – Gutenberg, Nuremberg Chronicle – Clanchy, Eisenstein
6-7 In class: Gutenberg Bible leaves, Nuremberg Chronicle, Prof. Frampton’s linotype  
4. Grammatology – Eliot Algonquin Bible
8–9 In class: Eliot Bible and other Bibles Session 9: Second of three position paper due-dates
5. McLuhan Medium is the Message – Textual Ephemera
10–11 In class: Letters from the MIT Archives  
6. Mythologies – Emily Dickinson’s Gorgeous Nothings – Letterlocking
12–13 In class: Letterlocking workshop with Jana Dambrogio Session 13: Third of three position paper due-dates
7. Quixote – Print Shops – Diderot
14–15 In class: Diderot’s Encyclopedia illustrations of printing  
8. If on a winter’s night a traveler…

16–17 Calvino  
9. Special Collections presentations
18 In class: Special Collections presentations of initial findings Revision of position paper due four days after Session 18
10. Kirschenbaum – Cloud Atlas

19-20 In class: Digital literature and legacy computing workshop  
11. Cloud Altas – Workshop
21 In class: Workshopping day  
12. Cloud Atlas cont.
22-23 Cloud Atlas cont. Special Collections project due two days after Session 23
13. Epilogue

In class: Informal presentations of projects in Special Collections library

Discussion and wrap-up

Distribution of long essay question for final exam

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2015
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples