Several of my courses teach students how to apply bibliographical thinking to born-digital texts and artifacts. I don’t make my lecture notes or slides public, but I do share my syllabi (under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license) in the hope that other instructors can draw from them, and to acknowledge my debts to others who research and teach in this area. Courses relevant to the Veil of Code project are listed below; for a full list of my courses, see my personal website.

INF 2159H: Analytical and Historical Bibliography

Graduate course in the Master of Information program, cross-listed with the Book History & Print Culture collaborative program

This course examines books and other textual artifacts as material objects, focusing on methods of production and manufacture, and how they affect the transmission of texts. Students are introduced to theories and methods of bibliographical description and analysis, and to their application across a range of media. Classes cover the history of textual production, from hand-press to digital books, and its relevance to disciplines such as librarianship, digital curation, and digital humanities.

INF 2331H: The Future of the Book

Graduate course in the Master of Information program, cross-listed with the Book History & Print Culture collaborative program

This course considers the history and possible futures of books in a digital world. In this course “the book” is interpreted broadly, meaning not just an object with covers and pages, but also an evolving metaphor for conceptual frameworks for knowledge, and a metonym that brings together many different technologies, institutions, and cultural practices. The course introduces students to interdisciplinary approaches such as book history, textual studies, history of reading, and digital humanities, with an emphasis on balancing theoretical speculation with practical implementation. Readings will survey topics such as the ontology of born-digital artifacts, critical assessment of digitization projects, collaborative knowledge work, reading devices (old and new), e-book interface design, text/image/multimedia relationships, theories and practices of markup, the gendering of technologies, the politics of digital archiving, the materiality of texts, and the epistemology of digital tools. Students will also receive a practical introduction to XML markup and visualization tools.

INF 330: Born-Digital Culture

Undergraduate elective course for the Bachelor of Information program

The artifacts of contemporary culture are increasingly born digital, and they challenge us to understand how they work, what they mean, and how they might be curated for future generations. This course explores the production, transmission, and reception of born-digital artifacts, from music and image files, to memes, to Web content, to videogames and their paratexts, and other software. Primary analysis of digital artifacts themselves forms the core of the course, but the course also draws on fields such as media studies, bibliography, archival studies, internet history, and videogame studies to understand the infrastructures and social contexts that affect what will count as the future cultural heritage of the digital era. Guided by readings, lectures, and case studies, the course will enable students to explore questions that are currently facing digital preservation and curation within and beyond the academy. What does it mean to treat a video game as future cultural heritage? How is digital rights management shaping the born-digital cultural record? Who determines how digital materials are archived and curated for the future? How does understanding the materiality of digital objects affect social and power relationships in the present?