EAS421H1: History of the Chinese Book

Hours: 
24L

This seminar traces the changing forms of the Chinese book from the early ‘page’ to modern print editions. We begin by considering the Chinese writing system and the bones, shells, bamboo and silk on which it was first inscribed. Next, we examine the specific technologies associated with medieval manuscript and early print cultures, many of which were associated with Buddhist textual production. Along the way we consider the social dimensions of Chinese book culture by considering the scribes, binders, engravers, printers, publishers, distributors and readers who produced, circulated and consumed Chinese books. The course draws on the methods and theories developed in diverse fields of study, including book history, philology, literacy studies and archive studies, to examine different chapters in the history of the Chinese book.

Prerequisite: 
Distribution Requirements: 
Humanities
Breadth Requirements: 
Creative and Cultural Representations (1)