Course: From Memory to Written Record

HC 231H

Professor: Daniel Rosenberg

Histories of society and culture can be traced through artifacts such as works of literature, art, and philosophy. They may also be studied through the underlying communication practices that make such pursuits possible including speech and writing. In this course, we take a long view of premodernity, principally in Europe and the Mediterranean region. We focus especially on the history of intellectual practices such as writing, reading, measurement, calculation, and especially the so-called “memory arts” which were fundamental to culture and ideas in the world before the printing press. This course is intensive in reading, writing, and discussion. Students should be prepared to engage unfamiliar subjects. HC231 is the first part of the three-part Honors College history sequence. Parts one and two are chronological, addressing issues in the premodern and the modern worlds. The third part, the research term, is elective. You may choose to take the thematic research course in History or in Literature.