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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Print Culture and the Enlightenment: Edinburgh and London, 1710-1814 (HIST10389)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course studies the cultural history of the Enlightenment, focussing on the circulation of manuscripts, correspondence, and printed books. We will consider the ways in which authors, publishers, readers, literary patrons, and civic trustees facilitated the circulation of ideas between its principal cultural centres: Edinburgh and London, from enactment of the world's first copyright law (An Act of Anne, 1710) to industrial adoption of the steam-powered press (at The Times, 1814).
Course description This course studies the cultural history of the Enlightenment, focussing on the circulation of manuscripts, correspondence, and printed books. Featuring unique resources held in the university's Centre for Research Collections, we will consider the ways in which authors, publishers, readers, literary patrons, and civic trustees facilitated the movement of Enlightenment ideas within and between its principal cultural centres: Edinburgh and London. The chronological reach of this course will extend from enactment of the world's first copyright law (An Act of Anne, 1710) to industrial adoption of the steam-powered press (at The Times, 1814). Readings will include classic statements in the historiography of the Enlightenment, with particular emphasis on their meaning for historians of eighteenth-century Britain.

Seminars will address: definitions of Enlightenment among intellectual, social, and cultural historians; early copyright law and its interpretations; the social emergence of authorship and publishing as professions; the extension of social networks from Scottish towns to the London metropolis through print trades; the construction and expression of moral controversies through manuscript and print; the changing technologies of print; the importance of coffee house culture; the roles of literary patrons and civic trustees in the circulation of Enlightenment and anti-Enlightenment ideas.

Students will learn how to handle, examine, and describe manuscripts and early-printed books that document the cultural history that our course readings discuss.

All of the course readings will be available online through the Learn interface; materials for preparation of student work are held in the University Library and National Library of Scotland.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, PTs are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Additional Costs This course may include a fieldtrip outside of Edinburgh, in which case coach fares may be required.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have 3 History courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Enrolments for this course are managed by the CAHSS Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department. All enquiries to enrol must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Through verbal, written, and group work: demonstrate a critical understanding of the social and material forces that enabled the circulation of ideas through print in eighteenth-century England and Scotland;
  2. exhibit a meaningful understanding of the cultural significance of authors and booksellers in contemporary Edinburgh and London;
  3. handle, describe, and examine materials that document 18th-century print culture;
  4. arrive at independent, well-argued, well-documented conclusions in an extended essay, which properly reference primary and secondary sources.
Reading List
Allan, D. "Reading Hume's History of England: Audience and Authority in Georgian England," David Hume: Historical Thinker, Historical Writer, ed. M. G. Spencer, (University Park, PA: Penn State UP, 2013), 103-20.
Blagden, C. "The English Stock," The Stationers Company: A History, 1403-1959, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1960), 92-109.
Brown, S. W. and W. McDougall, eds. The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, 1707-1800, (Edinburgh: U of Edinburgh P, 2012) 23-40; 118-143.
Jackson, I. "Approaches to the History of Readers and Reading in Eighteenth-Century Britain," Historical Journal, 47 (2004)' 1041-54.
Mandelbrote, G. and K. A. Manley, The Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland, 1640-1850, (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006) 241-263; 2850313; 405-437.
Raven, J. "The Book as Commodity," Oxford History of the Book in Britain, 1695-1830, eds. M. Suarez and M. Turner, (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009) 85-118;
--. "The Industrial Revolution of the Book," The Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book, ed. L. Howsam (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2015) 143-161.
R. B. Sher, "Toward a Book History of the Scottish Enlightenment," The Enlightenment and the Book, (Chicago: Chicago UP, 2007) 1-40.
W. St Clair, The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period, (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004). Selections.
M. Towsey, "'The Book Seemed to Sink into Oblivion': Reading Hume's History in Eighteenth-Century Scotland," David Hume, ed. M. Spencer. 80-102.
Van Horn Melton, J. "Drinking in Public: Taverns and Coffeehouses," The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe, (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001) 226-250.
M. Walsh, Shakespeare, Milton, and Eighteenth-Century Literary Editing, (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997) 4-29.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The study of the past gives students a unique understanding of the present that will enable them to succeed in a broad range of careers. The transferable skills gained from this course include:

* understanding complex issues and how to draw valid conclusions from the past;
* ability to analyse the origins and development of current historiographical debates;
* demonstrate bibliographical research skills that enable access to restricted-access archival materials, including the safe handling, examination, and technical description of historical manuscripts and handpress books;
* make effective use of IT-based online research skills, using closed-access scholarly resources that are not searchable through Google;
* develop a range of skills in material and textual analysis;
* ability to question and problematise evidence, considering relationships between evidence and interpretation;
* ability to assemble arguments coherently and concisely, both orally and in prose;
* ability to deliver a presentation before an audience of peers;
* ability to design and execute written projects and to present them suitably, as evidenced by the assessed essay of 3,000 words.
KeywordsPrint Culture
Course organiserDr Adam Budd
Tel: (0131 6)50 3834
Course secretaryMiss Katy Robinson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3780
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