The Ph.D. Designated Emphasis (DE) in Book, Archive and Manuscript Studies explores the past, present, and future of the forms in which knowledge has been, is, and will be shaped and transmitted. It studies the history of these forms from manuscripts to e-books and beyond, and it combines practical instruction on book making with research into print culture, textual production and circulation, archival management and theory, and the political economy of publishing. With a keystone colloquium based in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, the DE should appeal to students working on new media and digital humanities, as it will provide a genealogy and history of these newer forms.
By exploring the media through which knowledge is communicated, students and scholars can significantly enrich their understanding of that knowledge. To what extent does form shape content, and vice versa? What skills are necessary for the circulation of knowledge in printed form? What is the history of storing knowledge in archives? How does a post-print culture differ from a print culture? These are only some of the questions students explore in Book, Archive and Manuscript Studies.