A research project is required for this course. It
may take a variety of forms. The research project may be a research
paper; a bibliographical essay; a web site; a performance presentation (a
dramatic reading, a portrayal of an historic figure like Gutenberg, McLuhan,
Erasmus, Roger L'Estrange, et. al., a dramatization of an event or stereotype
of an event in the history of knowledge, literacy, education, production,
consumption, dissemination, censorship of information; a dramatization of
seizing and burning books, etc.); a video or still image presentation (such
as photos, slides, a power point presentation, collage, or other visual design);
a model presentation (a working model of a hand press; a hornbook library;
a book you make yourself); a recorded oral performance (dramatic reading,
original dramatic composition, freeform oral address of an issue covered
in this course, etc.) Other ideas?
- Research Paper--A research paper project should be a minimum of 15
pages in length. It should include original sources from the period
if possible. It should also have a bibliography of all sources consulted.
The style should be Chicago Manual of Style, the Turabian compendium
is acceptable. This link is to an on-line version
provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- Bibliographical Essay-- A bibliographical essay should also be a minimum
of 15 pages in length. This essay should be a survey review of the
scholarship on a particular topic relevant to the scope and focus of the
course, for example, women as readers, literacy in early modern Europe, early
modern educational philosophy, etc. It should include a bibliography
of all materials considered and should also use the Chicago Style as noted
- Web Site--Everyone with a WAM account
has 25 megs of space on the web server for mounting web pages. The
web site could take several forms--a subject gateway of links to other sites
on the web pertaining to a specific topic or subject; an image library of
images on the web via links or of images scanned and uploaded or of images
created through Adobe Photoshop or other imaging software; an electronic
book on the web with a subject relevant to the course material; an electronic
library of links and other elements illustrating books produced in the period
under study. We might also consider webchat or hypernews presentations.
- Performance Presentation--This type of project might be undertaken
by individuals or groups. This presentation might take the form of
a visual or oral performance in the class room, on the web, or in other formats.
It could be a dramatic reading of a text from the period under study
or a text about the period under study; it could be a dramatization of an
early modern school room or an act of public reading (reading a news sheet
in an ale house or gossiping in the aisles of St. Paul's Cathedral; it
could be a one-person portrayal of a figure from this period such as Gutenberg,
Franco, Rachel Speght,
et. al.; it could be a dramatization of Gutenberg's print shop or a London
book shop or a book burning in the period under study.
- Visual Presentation--This presentation could take the form of a video
you produce yourself relating to the material in the course. It might
also be a presentation of still visual images like slides, power point, overhead
projections, collage, a poster presentation.
- Model Presentation--A model presentation might include construction
of a model hand press, or a model of a print shop or book shop, or paper
making. It might be a hornbook library, various texts not traditionally
used in hornbook format, but now adapted to it to achieve the same ends as
the horn book. This presentation might be a book you make yourself.
- Recorded Oral Presentation--This presentation might be a dramatic reading
recorded on tape or CD of original material written by you or of material
drawn from the subjects and period under study. It might be an original
musical performance written by you to address the materials and ideas under
study here. It might be a dramatized interview with for example one
student posing as Marshall McLuhan or Johann Gutenberg or other figures from
the field and the period under study, and another student acting as interviewer
to ask questions about such topics as literacy, education, knowledge, printing,
reading, etc. It might be an actual interview with an authority or
scholar on one of the topics considered in the course, a faculty member at
this or another university, or other figures. It might also be a reading
of an original text from the period on education or the dangers of reading,
Please talk with me further, one-on-one, to explore and elaborate these possibilities.