The department of Cultural Studies offers basic as well as advanced courses in book history.
For more than 6000 years man has communicated through graphic documents that is through texts and images on, for example, stone, clay, parchment, or paper. These texts may be short, like those on a postcard or a poster, or longer and more complicated like those in novels or in mail order catalogs. The essential aspect of script however is that it transcends time and space, it saves knowledge and experiences, and passes them on to the future. The majority of material objects that help us understand the past is comprised of graphic documents carrying script and the printed text is still the most dominating information medium in the world.
In book history you study the documents of graphic culture and the processes through which these are manufactured, dispersed and consumed in a historical perspective. The discipline deals with the history of graphic communication which means not only books but all types of handwritten, printed and electronically produced documents used by man in different societies and cultures. The basic, one-year course deals with how manuscripts and printed books are produced, distributed, sold as commercial products on a market, and how these products have become consumer goods, either for practical purposes or for pleasure. The social and cultural context, the pricing of books, literacy, censorship and libraries are also examined.
Book history is a flourishing field on an international level, and well established in countries such as England, France and the US, but the discipline is also fast growing in other countries such as India and Japan. Lund University, where book history was introduced in 1991, is the only academic institution in the Nordic countries to offer courses both on an undergraduate and graduate/PhD level.
Last modified 8 Dec 2011