ENGL 292  Mapping Beirut Print Culture
Department of English
American University of Beirut
David Joseph Wrisley @DJWrisley
Spring 2016

In this project-driven seminar/lab course we will explore the history of the publishing industry and book selling in Beirut over the last century.  Students will explore the problem of location-based research through a number of theoretical and background readings in the spatial/digital humanities. Students will think about how print culture can be situated in space as a visual “conversation” (Bodenhamer).  Students will be encouraged to develop critical spatial literacies and well as familiarity with databases in their research practices.

The fieldwork, archival work and data collection in this course will feed into a collective project, generating sets of dynamic maps of historical print culture in Beirut. A planned outcome is a spatial narrative with time slider and filters, akin to this one about vinyl record stores in Paris and this mashup from the instructors’ own research. Students will also present posters for the international “Books in Motion” conference to be held in Beirut in early May.

This course counts as a capstone and is available to any English major with senior status.  ENGL 292 is a required course to graduate as a literature major from the Department of English. It will also be cross-listed as a graduate course, ENGL 306V.