Spring 2022 Cool Courses

Submitted by Amanda Demeter on
Marianne, Symbol of the French Republic
Julie Chen, World Without End
17th century printshop
TXTDS 224 / FRENCH 224
Gallica website
FRENCH 435 / TXTDS 403

Looking for course that are interdisciplinary, satisfy GEs, are taught in English, open to everyone, and have no prerequisites? Check out our Spring 2022 quarter cool courses!

TXTDS 224 A / FRENCH 224 A: Histories and Futures of the Book, Texts, and Reading
Print, Its Impacts and Legacies: Lessons from a Modern Communications Revolution
From medieval manuscripts to commercially printed books to today's rapidly recycled digital content, we'll explore how changing forms have shaped the ways texts have been read and understood, how the development and spread of printing technology in Europe impacted the modern world, how the book became dominant, and how a new media revolution (the mass digitization of texts) is again reshaping access to and understanding of the past.
More information

FRENCH 378 A: The Making of Contemporary France
This course examines the development of contemporary France, paying special attention to moments and texts that disrupt the narratives of a unified cultural space that the French (or a certain subset of the French) like to tell. Throughout the course, which spans from the French Revolution to the present day, we will examine how the idea of France is problematized internally by a number of tensions: its equally important revolutionary and reactionary political traditions; its credo of a singular culture (Republicanism) in the face of ascendant multiculturalism; its universalizing impulse and its commitment to sexual difference; its anti-immigrant reflexes and its global cultural and economic ambitions. We will do so by examining a variety of types of texts and objects, with a focus on the historical, literary, and cinematic.
More information

FRENCH 435 A / TXTDS 403 A: Archives, Data, and Databases
Critical Archives in Theory and Practice
Digitization projects have profoundly changed the landscape of historical research and have raised critical questions about how to account for the mediated ways we access the past. In this class, we will explore some possible answers to these questions, considering what opportunities digitization affords and what possibilities it forecloses. To do this we will begin by looking at the forms of mediation (and their basis in power structures) that were already present in physical archives before then turning to an examination of how digitization inflects the way archives mediate the traces we use to write history. While we will think about many different kinds of archives, we will take digitized newspaper archives as our primary case study, using them to engage in a hands-on way in the work of querying, collecting, and organizing archival material, and, in final projects, in integrating these sources into critical historical writing for a variety of different audiences.
More information

ITAL 354 A: Travels, Migrations, and Exile
Encounters with the Other in Textual and Digital Archives
This course examines a variety of attitudes toward poverty in the Italian Middle Ages, from traditional 'negative' views of poverty as a disgrace, to the recognition of the value of poverty as 'unrecognized wealth' in the Christian tradition and its political implications, to the shame and humiliation associated with incarceration and slavery. In addition to gaining historical background on the 14th and 15th centuries, students will engage in a digital project exploring how to archive the literary and visual tradition associated with these themes.
More information

TXTDS 402 A: Book Arts
Material forms of texts, with emphasis on form of the book. May include artists' books, bibliography, and study of early printed books, typography; study of manuscripts, bindings, and letterforms from scripts to fonts. Skills needed for working with primary sources and textual artifacts, potentially including materials in UW Special Collections.
More information