University of Vermont

UVM Course Directory

CLAS 015 – From Letters to Literature

Credits: 3.00

Course Description: Topics in script, literacy, books, libraries, cultural expression, preservation, and access from ancient Mesopotamia to the age of printing and the era of electronic information.

Section Description: For more than five thousand years humans have used a variety of writing systems (what we call collectively, but not always accurately, alphabets) to communicate with one another. The media for these writing systems ranges from clay tablets to printed books to the internet. In this course we will examine broadly the development of written language and its physical and virtual manifestations, while considering the impact of writing on human society. Through lectures, discussions, guest speakers, and frequent visits to the Special Collections Department in Billings Library for hands-on demonstrations, we will become acquainted with the materials and processes of making books. Along the way, we will grapple with questions such as: what is a book? What is literacy? Why do we have libraries and do we need them anymore?

CRN: 95533

Section: A

Enrolled/Seats: 17/40

Days Time Location
MWF 14:20 - 15:10 LAFAYETTE HALL L100

Instructor(s): Angeline C Chiu

Meeting Dates: 27 Aug 2018 - 07 Dec 2018