The files for all courses I have taught are provided under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.
University of Toronto: Winter 2019
How do texts make their way from premodern authors to today’s readers? This seminar is an introduction to the methods that allow us to understand this process: palaeography, textual criticism, and codicology. You will learn to read and identify the most important forms of handwriting and abbreviations used in Latin manuscripts between the fourth and fifteenth centuries. You will also understand how the process of copying by hand changed texts as we read them today, and the fundamentals of how modern scholars create a critical edition. These skills are essential for anyone wishing to conduct original research on classical and medieval primary sources. We will consider both traditional approaches to these subjects as well as evolving digital techniques.
University of Toronto: Winter 2018
This course considers the history and possible futures of books in a digital world, in their full range of physical manifestations. It introduces various approaches to these objects and their contents, including book history, textual studies, the history of reading, and digital humanities.
The readings and classes survey topics such as the ontology of born-digital artefacts, 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. Balancing theoretical speculation with practical implementation, students will receive a practical introduction to text markup and visualization tools.
University of Toronto: Summer 2015
Amid the growing importance of intellectual property, and calls to overthrow traditional educational and publication models, it is imperative to understand the development of these phenomena. These can fruitfully be traced to the Middle Ages, which saw the rise of the modern form of the book, the university, and scholastic culture. This course explores the history of this period, from the late Roman Empire to the fifteenth century, emphasizing developments in education and technology, and analysing their implications both in their own time and in the modern world. While the stereotype of this period is of a backward, unlearned society, surviving texts and other artefacts – such as manuscripts, art, music, buildings, inscriptions, and coinage – show us the roots of the systems that have both given a structure to our world which we cannot change without knowing their origins.
University of Toronto: Summer 2014, Fall 2014
The natural sciences, and the life sciences in particular, employ an enormous vocabulary of technical terms, presenting a sizeable challenge to the beginning student. The complexity of these terms is owed in part to the fact that many were formed from Greek and Latin words, to allow for easier communication within a multilingual scientific community at a time when most of its members learned these languages as a core part of their education. This course provides a basic exposure to the Latin and Greek elements of scientific language to facilitate understanding of technical vocabulary and enable students to use appropriate language in communicating with both specialists and the general public. It also provides an overview of the history of scientific communication to allow students to both appreciate and improve upon contemporary methodology for the dissemination or research.