Medieval Manuscripts & Early Print

Subject HIST90028 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 7 x 2-hour seminars on every Tuesday and Thursday, beginning Tuesday 17 August and finishing Thursday 9 September plus 2 workshop sessions on Saturday 21 September and Saturday 4 September 2010
Total Time Commitment: Total time commitment 120 hours
Prerequisites: Admission to a relevant masters program, fourth year honours or postgraduate diploma in history (or relevant program) or permission from the subject coordinators.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 131-423 Medieval Manuscripts & Early Print
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Charles Zika

Subject Overview:

This intensively taught interdisciplinary advanced seminar will explore some of the key features and themes of manuscript and print cultures in Central and Western Europe from the 13th to 17th centuries, a time of radical change in communication technology and of major social and cultural transformation. Topics will include different aspects of the production of manuscripts, such as the organization of scriptoria, palaeography and manuscript illumination, the social impact of written records, the formation of literate communities and the relationship of oral and literate culture. Consideration of early modern print will include the technologies of printing and print-making. the emergence of book production, illustrated broadsheets and newssheets. the significance of "news" and propaganda. the formation of a "republic of letters" and a "public sphere". The seminar will also explore issues of literacy and reading, and will range over a number of different genres such as musical texts, liturgical books and devotional works, humanist writings and classical editions and translations, broadsheets and popular literature. Students will be encouraged to carry out research and develop technical skills by working on specific materials and objects contained in the University of Melbourne Rare Books and Print collections, the State Library of Victoria, the Manuscript Resource Unit at Newman College and the National Gallery of Victoria.

  • identify and understand the key features of manuscript and print cultures in later medieval and early modern Europe
  • understand the ways in which key changes in Western European societies and culture between the 13th and 17th centuries were related to the transition from script to print
  • appreciate the range of ways in which media shapes and impacts on the organization and structure of a society and its culture
Assessment: A research project 5000 words 100% due in first week of examination period
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to show an advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area.
  • be able to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the discipline.
  • develop an appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research

This seminar will be taught intensively on Tuesdays and Thursdays (5.15-7.15) over 4 weeks, beginning Tuesday 17 August and finishing Thursday 9 September [16 hours] and on Saturday 21 August (10-1; 2-4) [5 hours] and Saturday 4 September (1-4 pm) [3 hours].

Related Course(s): Master of Arts in History (Advanced Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 24 months
Ancient and Medieval Studies
Art History
Art History
Art History
Art History
English and Theatre
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Renaissance and Early Modern Studies

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