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Ideas, Censorship and Politics (INFS 2600)

Total Credits: 3
Lecture Credits: 3

Description: This course provides an introduction to print culture and the role of print media in the cultural and political life of communities throughout the world and throughout time. You will explore intellectual history and the role of the printed word in shaping culture. You will explore concepts such as censorship, bibliocide and libricide (the destruction of books and libraries), and the history of scholarship and knowledge production.

Topical Outline:
1. Introduction to historiography and the history of the book/print culture
2. Introduction to the history of scholarship and knowledge production
3. Exploration of the institutions involved in the creation, transmission and preservation of knowledge (examples include: the library, the university, the Republic of Letters, the academic disciplines, and the laboratory)
4. Exploration of the role that printing and the printed word played in shaping the modern world
5. Exploration of the relationship between literacy, censorship and political democracy
6. Exploration of bibliocide and libricide in the modern era

Learning Outcomes:
1. Articulate an understanding of the methodologies used by historians, with an emphasis on intellectual historiography and how it influences the writing of history
2. Articulate an understanding of the library as an institution of human memory and how it shapes, as well as preserves, human culture
3. Critically analyze and explain the roles that institutions of knowledge production, transmission and preservation play in shaping scholarship and the intellectual life of society
4. Articulate the role played by printing and the printed word in shaping the development of the modern world
5. Articulate an understanding of the interrelationship between literacy and censorship in democratic societies
6. Critically analyze the systematic destruction of knowledge (bibliocide and libricide) and explain why it continues into the modern era

Prerequisites:  ENGL 1110 or ENGA 1110

  • Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Goal 8: Global Perspectives