Transformative media. The transition between manuscript and print culture in the Upper Rhine region

In this collaborative course, students of German literature at the universities of Basel, Freiburg and Strasbourg will learn to deal with historical texts in their original form. The course focuses on the transition from manuscript to print culture, an important transition in media history. This transition occurred as a result of the invention of printing with movable type and lasted from the second half of the 15th century well into the early modern period, whereby print culture and manuscripts coexisted for a long time and influenced each other. The course is planned as five block sessions taking place in one of the university libraries (Freiburg, Basel, Strasbourg). The course contents will be negotiated in close interaction with the originals and the students will learn how to handle historical written media. We will use these documents to discuss the drastic changes in media history in the early modern period (not least in comparison to current challenges with changing media) as well what insights can be gained from the written objects as opposed to mere digital copies. The course is completed by a visit to the Museum of Paper, Writing and Printing (Basler Papiermühle).

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