In this class we will study and even imitate a range of writing practices, from the end of the 19th century through the 21st century, in which the material qualities of the letter and the word are foregrounded—the shape, size, texture, and sound of the letter/word. We will attempt to “read” the visual poems of Guillaume Apollinaire and Stéphan Mallarmé and then we will move through the wild avant-garde, typographical experiments of Futurism and Dada, the concrete poetry of the 1950s and 1960s in the U.S. and Canada, the late 20th century collaged novel of Tom Phillips, and we will finish by reading the conceptual writing and digital literature of the early 21st century. We will also watch the recently released film Helvetica, a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture.

This section is being offered in the Maymester: May 14 - June 1, and is restricted to sophomore, junior and senior students only.
This course satisfies the A&S Core Literature and the Arts requirement.

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