Graduate degree: M.F.A. in book arts
Graduate certificate: book studies/book arts and technologies

The University of Iowa Center for the Book represents a community of faculty, staff, students, and local book specialists with interests in all facets of book production, distribution, and use. Some members of the center actively research the history and circulation of the book, examining the role of books in cultural and historical processes. They also look at how changes in book production affect the way books are viewed as artifacts. Specialists in book arts and technologies study the history and technique of book crafts, including letterpress printing, typography, calligraphy, papermaking, and bookbinding. Others engage in the conservation or production of books, including artists' books and literary fine press publications.

The center offers classes; sponsors lectures, seminars, and workshops; and encourages the exchange of ideas among individuals with interests in the book. A wide range of perspectives on the book as an aesthetic, cultural, and historical artifact is provided by associated faculty, staff, and graduate students in the Schools of Art and Art History and Library and Information Science; the Departments of History and English; University of Iowa Libraries; the Creative Writing Program (Iowa Writers' Workshop); and other areas. This interdisciplinary membership and the center's facilities combine to provide an exceptional environment for studying the history of the book, its evolution, and its future.

Graduate students may earn a master's degree or a graduate certificate through the center. Undergraduate students may add dimension to their majors in English, art, journalism, history, and other disciplines by taking Center for the Book courses in book arts and book studies. They also may include an emphasis on book arts or on cultural and historical aspects of the book in the interdepartmental studies major.

Center for the Book Courses

UICB:2100 Creative Writing for Book Arts3 s.h.

Creative writing in context of book arts; text and image, typography, visual sequence, graphic narrative; zines, chapbooks, broadsides, and artist's books.

UICB:2110 Introduction to Book Arts3 s.h.

Topics related to artist books, hand bookbinding, letterpress printing, papermaking, and lettering arts. GE: Engineering Be Creative. Same as BKAT:2110.

UICB:2600 Graphic Design II3 s.h.

Fundamentals of typography as a core element in visual communication; introduction to historical typographic practices as well as modern modes of designing with type. Prerequisites: ARTS:1510 and ARTS:1520. Corequisites: DSGN:2500. Same as DSGN:2600.

UICB:2900 Book Design for Publishing3 s.h.

Introduction to the major aspects of book design, including typography, layout, standard industry software, discussion of trends in the field. Same as ARTS:2900, ENGL:2900, WRIT:2900.

UICB:3140 Literature and the Book3 s.h.

English majors and English and Creative Writing majors may apply this course to the following area and/or period requirement. AREA: Literary Theory and Interdisciplinary Studies. PERIOD: Varies by semester. Same as ENGL:3140.

UICB:3142 Topics in Book History3 s.h.

Authorship, publishing, and so forth within specific historical and cultural contexts. English majors and English and Creative Writing majors may apply this course to the following area and/or period requirement. AREA: Literary Theory and Interdisciplinary Studies. PERIOD: Varies by semester. Same as ENGL:3142.

UICB:3280 Elements of Book Art3 s.h.

Overview of book art process and techniques for nonmajors; introduction to traditional bookbinding skills, nontraditional book structures, and content development for artist books. GE: Engineering Be Creative. Same as BKAT:3280.

UICB:3380 Elements of Letterpress3 s.h.

Introduction to letterpress printing; metal type, relief printing, page layout, and basic typography; basic use of Vandercook Proof Press; experimentation with diverse letterpress techniques; for non-book art majors. GE: Engineering Be Creative. Same as BKAT:3380.

UICB:3400 Calligraphy: Foundational Hands3 s.h.

Fundamental calligraphic skills using Roman majuscule, Humanistic minuscule, Italic; basic layout and color theory incorporated into letter practice. Same as BKAT:3400.

UICB:3900 Special Project for Undergraduatesarr.

Independent study.

UICB:3980 American Print Culture3 s.h.

Exploration of a wide range of imagery printed and published in the United States during 19th century (1776-1900); fine art original prints, popular imagery in periodicals and illustrated books, scholarly literature, history of evolving technologies, variety of printed work; shifting reputation of printed art and its makers. Same as ARTH:3980.

UICB:4100 Paperworks3 s.h.

Conceptual and methodological approaches to 2-D and 3-D paper works; creation of works that couple unique properties of paper-pulp medium with personal visual ideas and clarity of intent; contemporary issues in paper pulp, medium's relationship to larger art and craft contexts. GE: Engineering Be Creative. Same as BKAT:4100.

UICB:4150 Introduction to Book Studies3 s.h.

Theory and practice of book studies; meanings of word and image in the book format; comparative study of other media, applied study of the codex as physical artifact. English majors and English and Creative Writing majors may apply this course to the following area and/or period requirement. AREA: Literary Theory and Interdisciplinary Studies. PERIOD: Varies by semester. Same as ENGL:4150, SLIS:4150.

UICB:4205 Bookbinding I: Materials and Techniques3 s.h.

Hands-on introduction to materials and techniques commonly used in bookbinding. Same as BKAT:4205.

UICB:4210 Boxes and Enclosures3 s.h.

Hands-on techniques for a variety of book enclosures; appropriateness, aesthetic issues concerning box design; Japanese wraparound case, drop-spine box, hinged and lidded boxes, slipcase; technical skill development. Prerequisites: UICB:4205. Same as BKAT:4210.

UICB:4270 Bookbinding II3 s.h.

Builds on skills acquired in UICB:4205; projects to complete six bindings based on historical and contemporary models; sewing styles, board attachments, endband types; nonadhesive and case-bound structures, varied materials and binding styles, their effects on structure, aesthetic considerations, further development of solid binding skills; historical development of particular binding practices. Prerequisites: UICB:4205. Same as BKAT:4270.

UICB:4280 Artists' Books3 s.h.

Exploration of the book as a form for artistic expression; emphasis on conceptual development; relationship between content, form, and structure; how a book's structure and design can enhance and integrate part of the work's meaning. Prerequisites: UICB:4205 or BKAT:4205. Same as BKAT:4280.

UICB:4290 Historical Book Structures3 s.h.

Historical development of book structures examined through surviving examples, construction of historical models. Prerequisites: UICB:4205 or UICB:4205.

UICB:4300 Letterpress I3 s.h.

Mechanics of letterpress printing, typography, and design as applied to hand set metal type and edition printing; printing on a Vandercook proof press; introduction to photopolymer plates and methods of illustration related to edition printing, historical aspects of printing technology, typecasting, type classification; role of letterpress in modern private press and contemporary artist books. Same as ARTS:4300.

UICB:4340 Digital Design for Artists' Books3 s.h.

Introduction to concepts, techniques, and technologies used to design and produce artists' books with personal computers and graphic design software. GE: Engineering Be Creative. Same as ARTS:4340.

UICB:4380 Letterpress II3 s.h.

Builds on skills acquired in UICB:4300; students produce an editioned letterpress printed chapbook or artist book, a poster for a public event, and an image built from metal type; exploration of hand-set metal, digital typesetting, printing from photopolymer plates, and pressure printing; press mechanics and operation; publication philosophies, manuscript acquisition, and topics specific to literary fine press and artist books; historical and contemporary context for literary fine press publications and artist book work. Prerequisites: UICB:4300. Same as ARTS:4380.

UICB:4390 Book and Publication Design3 s.h.

Students plan, design, and produce a book using Adobe Creative Suite; page layout software, typography, page layout and design, book formatting, handling of image files, preparation of materials for print and other contemporary book media; history of book design, book design in contemporary publishing; visit to University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections. Prerequisites: DSGN:2600 or UICB:4300. Same as ARTS:4390.

UICB:4400 History of Western Letterforms3 s.h.

History of Western letterforms, with focus on tools, materials, techniques; the major hands, their place in history, their influence on modern times; creation of letterforms using appropriate tools; hands-on approach with emphasis on understanding rather than mastery. Same as ARTS:4400.

UICB:4415 Calligraphy I: Foundational Hands3 s.h.

Hands-on instruction in italic and pressure pen scripts; historical relationships, effects on modern letterforms. GE: Engineering Be Creative. Same as ARTS:4415.

UICB:4420 Calligraphy I: Blackletter Hands3 s.h.

Explores some of the many calligraphic forms known collectively as blackletter hands (medieval introduction to calligraphy); study of various hands from the heavily vertical Textura to the floridly expressive Gothic Cursive, and the distinctive connotations these unique letterform carry; emphasis on exploring the creative process while refining calligraphic skills and understanding the historical and social connections this hand has with other disciplines.

UICB:4490 Advanced Studies in Letter Arts3 s.h.

Special topics and advanced projects in calligraphy and letter arts. Prerequisites: UICB:4400 or UICB:4415 or UICB:4420. Same as ARTS:4490.

UICB:4910 The Book in the Middle Ages3 s.h.

Relation of text, decoration, function, creators, and audience in different genres of medieval manuscript books 400-1500 A.D. Same as HIST:4910, SLIS:4910.

UICB:4920 The Transition from Manuscript to Print3 s.h.

History of the book and communication in Europe 1400-1800; production, distribution, and use of texts in cultural context. Same as HIST:4920, SLIS:4920.

UICB:4930 Topics in Material Analysis3 s.h.

Analysis and description of physical book artifacts and their component parts (parchment, paper, bookbinding) and allied specialties (the lettering arts, printing and illustration techniques); reading, writing, presentations. Same as HIST:4430.

UICB:5110 Islamic/Asian Papermaking History and Technique3 s.h.

History, technique, and aesthetics of traditional Islamic and Asian hand papermaking. Same as BKAT:5110.

UICB:5130 European Papermaking History and Technique3 s.h.

History and technique of traditional European hand papermaking and related aesthetics; students gain confidence in pursuing independent production of handmade papers or undertaking related research in their own particular areas of interest; fiber preparation, sheet forming, and drying/finishing methods; concurrent readings and discussions of related history and aesthetics; special projects selected by student with instructor approval. Same as BKAT:5120.

UICB:5160 Studies in Papermakingarr.

Topics in the history and technique of papermaking. Prerequisites: UICB:4100 or UICB:5110 or UICB:5130.

UICB:5170 Advanced Papermaking Production3 s.h.

Independent Western- or Japanese-style projects undertaken at UICB Research and Production Paper Facility at Oakdale Campus under faculty guidance; plan, implement, and evaluate professional scale production runs using full-scale equipment. Prerequisites: UICB:5110 or UICB:5130 or BKAT:5110 or BKAT:5120. Same as BKAT:5170.

UICB:5180 Advanced Projects in Paper1-3 s.h.

Advanced independent projects undertaken in a classroom setting; collaborative group discussions to plan, implement, troubleshoot, and evaluate student projects. Prerequisites: UICB:5110 or UICB:5130 or BKAT:5110 or BKAT:5120. Same as BKAT:5180.

UICB:5210 Bookbinding III3 s.h.

Bookbinding structures based on historical and contemporary models; differences in various binding practices, how these differences affect function, why the styles developed; experience choosing appropriate structures for particular uses; emphasis on fine tuning skills and techniques required for advanced binding practices; sewn endbands, rounding and backing, sewing on varied supports, board attachments, and covering methods. Prerequisites: (UICB:4205 or BKAT:4205) and (UICB:4270 or BKAT:4270). Requirements: for UICB:5210UICB:4205 and UICB:4270; for BKAT:5210BKAT:4205 or BKAT:4270 or UICB:4205 or UICB:4270. Same as BKAT:5210.

UICB:5220 Book Conservation3 s.h.

Practical methods, materials assessment, conservation history and evolution. Prerequisites: UICB:4270. Same as SLIS:5535.

UICB:5260 Studies in Bookbinding3 s.h.

Topics related to hand bookbinding. Same as BKAT:5260.

UICB:5280 Bookbinding IV3 s.h.

Advanced studies in bookbinding; fine binding styles, leather paring and tooling, advanced finishing techniques, refining skills; continued look at differences in regional binding practices, how these differences affect function, and why particular styles developed. Prerequisites: UICB:5210.

UICB:5330 Letterpress III: Imagemakingarr.

Advanced work in alternative and innovative letterpress technologies as they apply to imagemaking processes for fine press printing; topics include pressure printing, photopolymer from nondigital negatives, explorations of type-high surfaces, monoprints on the Vandercook, and applying hand work to editioned prints; students complete a series of print exercises for each process, a small printed book sketch, and a longer format editioned artist book. Prerequisites: UICB:4380. Same as ARTS:5330.

UICB:5340 Letterpress III: The Handprinted Book3 s.h.

Advanced work in fine press book design; exploration of problems in hand-printing books, choice of manuscript, editing, design, typesetting, proofreading, printing and binding; histories of printing and of the book, emphasis on 20th- and 21st-century book design and literature; issues of book design and production related to letterpress printing. Prerequisites: UICB:4380. Same as ARTS:5340.

UICB:5370 Studies in Printing1-3 s.h.

Development of individual book projects and production of one substantial project or several smaller ones; focus on acquiring or creating a text and/or other content; project development; range of print techniques available in letterpress printing; issues involved in producing editioned artist books or fine press work; opportunity to expand on existing printing; classroom setting used to augment work sessions with in-progress critiques, readings, and visits to special collections.

UICB:5380 Letterpress IV: Advanced Projects3 s.h.

Development and/or production of one substantial project; focus on acquiring or creating a text and/or other content; project development; range of print techniques available in letterpress printing; issues involved in producing editioned artist books or fine press work; opportunity to expand existing printing; classroom setting augments work sessions with in-progress critiques, readings, and visits to special collections. Prerequisites: UICB:5330 or UICB:5340.

UICB:5520 Studies in Book History and Technologies0-3 s.h.

Topics related to production, distribution, and consumption of books through history and into the future. Same as SLIS:5520.

UICB:5530 Topics in Preservation3 s.h.

Care, conservation, and preservation of cultural heritage artifacts; readings, discussion, hands-on sessions. Same as SLIS:5530.

UICB:5540 Topics in Book Arts1-3 s.h.

Focus on particular techniques and concepts in the book arts and related fields.

UICB:5550 Special Project for Graduate Studentsarr.

Independent study.

UICB:5600 History of Readers and Reading3 s.h.

Cultural nature of reading practices in historic and contemporary contexts; print and digital culture; reading communities; examples of recent scholarship; use of primary resources; seminar. Same as SLIS:5600.

UICB:6100 Book Studies Proseminar1-3 s.h.

UICB:6370 Topics in Book Studies3 s.h.

Topics relevant to book studies and special collections. Same as SLIS:6370.

UICB:6510 Book Art Seminar: History, Practice, and Critique3 s.h.

Art-historical introduction to book arts (printing, bookbinding, papermaking and paperworks, artist bookwork, lettering arts, literary fine press and fine press artist books); influences and origins, contemporary practice, critical considerations; locating field through lenses of fine art, craft, and book history; weekly readings, observational analyses, hands-on exercises; archival research in the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections; final research, analytical, and/or critical project.

UICB:6520 Graduate Book Arts Workshop3 s.h.

Development of artwork and studio practice; readings and research in contemporary theory and practice; analysis of visual language; integration of creative activities and critical thinking in student's own art practice and analysis of contemporary work in book arts; group and individual critiques, studio assignments, presentations, discussions.

UICB:6540 M.F.A. Thesis Hoursarr.