Culture of Book and Library in Central Europe

Course Description: 

The course provides an overview of the use of books and book collections in Central Europe from the Middle Ages until the modernity. Based on the study of relevant written, and visual sources, the participants will get an insight into the significance of books and libraries. The main topics include the detailed analysis of the emergence of book production, various forms of literacy, use of books and written texts.  The in-class discussions will also touch on the development of private and public book collections. 

Learning Outcomes: 

Students are expected to develop their abilities in order to recognize patterns, use old ideas to create new ones, generalize from facts, compare and discriminate between ideas, and draw conclusions. Students will improve their abilities to make a well-reasoned judgment, verify the value of documentary evidence. Students will also practice summarizing, presenting and discussing ideas and arguments orally in a clear, effective and engaging way. 


(1) Participation in class discussion (40% of the final grade). Students are required to complete the compulsory readings and participate in class discussions. Grading will reward active and informed contribution in the discussions

(2) Oral presentation (30% of the final grade). Based on class materials, required and optional readings, each student will prepare an oral presentation of about 15 minutes on a topic to be selected after consultation with the instructors. Grading will reward thorough preparation and clear and concise presentation

(3) Term paper (30% of the final grade). Submit the material of the presentation in the form of a short paper (c. 2000-2500 words) or submit a planned chapter/subchapter of their thesis that utilizes materials discussed in the course. Grading will reward the discussion of the main topic and its appropriate contextualization, as well as following the requirements of academic writing.

Regular attendance (at least 10 classes out of twelve) and preparation is required.