Texas Tech University

Book History & Digital Humanities

One of the most important fields of inquiry today, Book History examines the creation, production, distribution, and reception of “texts,” from those created in the earliest writing systems to those existing digitally on the internet. Book history examines the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the written word to create, in D. F. McKenzie’s terms, a “sociology of texts.” That sociology considers those actors in the creation and production of the text—authors, editors, publishers, printers, illustrators, binders, booksellers, etc.—and in its reception: readers, reviewers, and critics.

The book history emphasis draws on the expertise of 14 faculty in the Department of English. Our faculty have held fellowships from the NEH, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, and the Bibliographical Society of America. They have published 13 scholarly editions, 3 books, 5 textbooks, 7 collections of essays or special issues, and many articles. Two are editors of book series, and several have won awards for their research, scholarship, and teaching. You can learn more about our faculty by using the link at right.

Courses taught by core faculty always include book history perspectives. Affiliated faculty identify when a course contains elements supportive of the emphasis. Courses dealing in whole or in part with any of the following subjects would fall under that category:

  • Archives (nature of, work within, etc.)
  • Authorship
  • Book Arts
  • Bookbinding and Binders
  • Book Collectors and Their Libraries
  • Book Design and Designers
  • Book Trade
  • Calligraphy
  • Canon Formation
  • Censorship
  • Copyright and Piracy
  • Coterie Production
  • Cultural, Economic and Social History of Books
  • Digital Humanities
  • Education History of Printing
  • Electronic Culture and Publishing
  • Electronic Textuality
  • Ephemera
  • Illustration
  • Illustrated Books
  • Illustration Methods
  • Illustrators
  • Legal Aspects of Publishing
  • Libraries
  • Literary Agents
  • Literacy, Reading Habits and Practices
  • Literary Criticism and the Politics of Canon Formation
  • Manuscript Culture and Manuscript Publication
  • Paleography
  • Paper Trade
  • Paper Makers
  • Papermaking
  • Periodical Press
  • Politics of Literary Criticism
  • Print Culture
  • Publishing
  • Publishing History
  • Reader Responses
  • Relations between Authors, Agents, and Publishers
  • Relations between Authors and Their Readers
  • Technologies of Book Production
  • Textual Criticism and Scholarly Editing
  • Typography and Typographers
  • Type Design and Typefounding

We offer opportunities for students to meet outside of class to explore Book History and Digital Humanities.

  • The Undergraduate Book History Group, begun in 2013 by Alison Rukavina.

Check out the links to the right to see what each group is doing!

Book Cover

More links for Book History

Contact Information

For more information about the Book History emphasis or for general information about graduate study in English at Texas Tech University, please contact Dr. Marta Kvande.



Department of English