Undergraduate Seminar: Cultural Dynamics of Medieval and Early-Modern Manuscripts
In this course we will study medieval and early-modern manuscripts as complex intersections of materiality, aesthetics, politics, and institutionality. In a first part, students will be introduced into the fundamentals of codicology, paleography, and manuscript illumination: a hands-on phase for which we will use real manuscripts from Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. In addition, we will discuss some seminal critical work on the cultural dynamics of manuscripts. After this introductory part, our class will explore selected cases and genres such as medieval bibles, books of hours, poetic anthologies, and manuscripts with scientific texts. In the third part of the course, students will pursue their own research in collaboration with the instructors.