Program Description

The Art of the Book: History, Form & Content

Books hold a place in our imaginations paralleled by few other daily objects. They symbolize the intellect, the vast resources of fantasy, the whole of human history, and they can contain, in some manner, almost anything we wish them to. The rise of digital and internet technology has made at least a theoretical threat to an established culture of the book. It is in this potentially transitional moment that we, as writers, artists, and book-lovers, can articulate both old and new relationships to the book as a creative form, as an institution, and as the material container of consciousness.

The first half of the quarter will be devoted to developing techniques in image production and creative writing practice through workshops and critique. Our study of writing and art will be consistently grounded in the idea of the book and the relationship between visual art and language. We'll develop a basic understanding of the cultural and material history of the book; we'll consider what it means to regard the book as an artistic medium by making books with our hands using ancient and alternative techniques. Students will practice skills for merging images and texts into this unique and singular form and examine the emerging discourse of artists' books as a revitalization of the book's potential.

The second half of the quarter will be focused on studio work and each students' completion of their own project in book form. Students should expect to read and write critically, to participate actively in seminars, workshops, and demonstrations, and to develop independent projects to be completed by the end of the quarter.

Total: 16 credits.

Enrollment:   40

Special Expenses: $150 for fieldtrips, tools, materials, & studio fees

Program is preparatory for: future studies in writing, literature, visual arts, and book arts.

A similar program is also listed under: n/a

This program is also listed under: Programs for Freshmen and Culture, Text and Language.

Faculty : Shawn Ferris & Steven Hendricks

Major Areas of Study include : Aesthetics & design, creative writing, techniques in mixed media, history of the book, and book arts,

Class Standing : This all-level program offers appropriate support for freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.


Some Program Details & Site Info


Program Covenant


Link to Readings

Link to Schedules

Complete Syllabus (pdf)