Courses in Book Studies

The Book Lab is building a list of current and past Book Studies courses offered at Indiana University, Bloomington. Please reach out to share details of your own courses with us! By clicking below, you can also browse some past Book Lab offered courses, and learn about our new NEH-funded curricular development project, Creating an Indiana University Book Studies Minor (2024-2027).

View Past Courses         NEW: Creating a Book Studies Minor

Featured Courses

The Book Lab


This course proposes an experiment: what happens when we look at books that we cannot read? If we can no longer access books through their content, we can instead study books as cultural artifacts, and when we do, aspects of their materials and form which have always seemed natural suddenly raise intriguing questions. Why is a page rectangular? Why are print letterforms different from handwritten cursive letterforms? These lead us to other questions about the book and the natural world: what can bookworms tell us about early print culture? What role do wasps play in the fabrication of medieval ink?

Our main focus will be looking deeply at early books, experimenting with making parts of them, and analyzing what we find through collaborative and creative projects. This course introduces students to the interpretation of primary and secondary sources; to the creation and pursuit of research questions; and to the study of rare and archival materials. Class time will be spent in lecture, hands-on lab activities, group discussion, collaborative research, and individual reflection.

Spring 2024

Poster for spring 2024 ASURE course "The Book Lab"

Do you teach a course on The Book?

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