Students who minor in Book Studies learn to think critically about how the material aspects of the book communicate meaning, the changing technologies of the book (from the cuneiform tablet to digital media) and the transmission of knowledge, the humanistic nature of books, their production, and their reception, and the book as an agent of social, political, and cultural change. Given the rapid changes in the technology of the book and textual media, it is arguably more important than ever to engage books of the past-and of the future-as complex material objects and as sources of interpretable texts and images.
As an interdisciplinary minor, Book Studies complements majors in both the humanities and the sciences (e.g. - the history of science invokes book studies by demonstrating how books promoted and shaped scientific discourse, while the conservation of books involves expertise in Chemistry and Biology). Courses in Book Studies also afford students numerous opportunities for hands-on learning through the art of book making, the close examination of a wide range of books, as well as primary and secondary research on books. More broadly, students develop a keener appreciation of the relationship between book production and the mutability of knowledge, as well as a more critical understanding of book design and the expression of meaning; the relationship between bibliography and the humanities; and, more broadly, the complex ways in which books make history.
After graduation, Book Studies minors might apply their knowledge toward graduate studies in the humanities, an M.A. in library science, a career in the expanding field of digital media, or work in an historical society.