Interdisciplinary Elective Subject, topic 2: Reading the textual object

Course content

This seminar will reconstruct a paradigm shift in the humanities. Texts are no longer seen as abstract semiotic constructs, but as three-dimensional objects. Their so-called ‘materiality’, a problematic key term in the debate, can be shown to play a central role for interpretation, textual reception, and tradition, for the way we confer (cultural) value, how we present and represent textual phenomena. Focussing on literary texts and research, but by no means restricted to it, this course will teach both the theory and practice of what might be called textual objecthood. In particular, we will study the consequences of this paradigm shift for our understanding of different practices of reading and the crucial differences between digital and analogue reading and reading experiences. We will also cover topics in book and media history, typography, editorial practices, manuscript studies, paratextuality, and illustration (in several of Engerom’s languages).

Students will learn how to handle and interpret textutal objects by acquiring competences no artificial intelligence is as yet capable of. This includes archival work – we will visit the Royal Library in order to find out how to discover and identify relevant ‘material’ features of textual phenomena and how to incorporate them in interpretation and edition. If possible, we will also cooperate with literary museums and publishing houses. Students will learn how to write an academic essay and produce a condensed version of it in the shape of their very own textual object: a poster that will be presented in a poster session as the basis for the final extended version.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 84
  • Preparation
  • 325,5
  • English
  • 409,5


Course number
Programme level

1 semester


Dette er et dagkursus via tompladsordningen mod betaling på Åbent Universitet. Tilmeld dig og se aktuel prisoversigt på  denne side

See schedule
Study board of English, Germanic and Romance Studies
Contracting department
  • Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator
  • Christian Benne   (15-666b756c76776c6471316568717168436b7870316e7831676e)

Christian Benne and Charles Lock

Saved on the 07-03-2024

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