Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Experiential Learning with Book Arts

This past spring, the Book Arts Workshop collaborated with faculty on two curricular projects that received Experiential Learning Initiative Grants.  The courses involved were FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy, taught by Professor Michael Evans, and the Ancient Books, taught by Classics Professor, Tom Hendrickson.

The grants made it possible to order supplies such as paper, ink, and even papyrus and parchment for the student's projects.  The funding was also used to host letterpress printer, Amos Kennedy for a week.

During that very busy week, Amos worked with the FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy class and four other classes, such as Government's Ethics & Public Policy with Julie Rose and Music's Sound Art Practice with Ashley Fure.  The Workshop was also open for two days to any student, faculty, staff or community member to stop by, talk with Amos and print one of the many posters he had set up on the presses.

Here are some photos from the FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy class and Amos Kennedy's visit.

"Amos working with FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy"

"Amos working with FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy"

"Amos working with FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy"

"Professor Michael Evans and Amos Kennedy discussing class projects."

Other classes visited and printed posters too.  This was Aden Evens' English Department course, "Electronic Literature."

All week people put their posters suggestions in a box we set up in Berry Library.  Amos chose some of those suggestions and set up the posters on the presses.  We opened up the Workshop, welcoming anyone to come in and print one of the posters and take it home.  

"We made a lot of posters!"

The 16 students from the FILM 7: Mass Media and Democracy class then came up with their own posters and printed them.

Here's an example in progress"

"Here's an example done"

To learn more about this project, look at this entry and others by Michael Evans and Michael Goudzwaard (the instructional designer, who also collaborated on the FILM 7 course) on the blog, Teaching Out Loud: http://sites.dartmouth.edu/teachingoutloud/learning-from-experience-part-4/

While all that poster printing was happening, our collaboration with Tom Hendrickson's Ancient Book Course took a very different focus.  The project consisted of six sessions with 17 students making papyrus scrolls, simple codex structures with paper and parchment, and finally, multi-section Coptic-style bindings.  Students copied given texts-using appropriate historical calligraphic hands-into each of these books.  The lesson showed not only how books, letterforms, and materials evolved, but also how texts were altered through different iterations.

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