History of books and reading

Educational objectives:

The “History of books and reading” MA Program is:

  • Orientated towards everyone who is interested in the past and present of book culture and the publishing business – from the creation of the codex all the way to contemporary digital publications; it is also aimed towards historians, philologists, cultural study specialists, journalists, librarians, publishers, antiquarians, researchers, managers of literary collections, museum specialist who work in the field of preservation of written cultural heritage, specialists in the field of search and retrieval of lost cultural monuments and bibliophiles;
  • Based on the theories of written culture and book history and identifies ideological challenges related to book publishing, as well as the ways in which current practices are formed by various social, economic and technological developments that have happened throughout the history of humanity;
  • Aimed towards: giving students knowledge related to the stages in the development of handwritten and printed traditions (Bulgarian, European, Byzantine, Arabic, Persian and Ottoman etc.); knowledge regarding the distribution and reception of texts, as well as their influence on various past and present societies (can books and text cause revolutions and societal changes?);
  • Forming technical abilities required for the effective use of the existing information infrastructure – both traditional and digital – related to the history and current condition of written culture;
  • Fostering critical capabilities required for the appraisal of various information resources related to history of the book and reading;

 Description

The curriculum of the “History of books and reading” MA Program has been developed in accordance with contemporary national and international requirements in this professional field.  It is focused on several scholarly fields: history and theory of books and reading; conservation and restoration of written cultural heritage; online resources and digital publications. The program is organized on a modular basis, which aims to provide a balance between knowledge and practical skills related to the educational objectives of the Program.

Professional Skills

Students will acquire professional competence in: research and science projects; supporting and developing professional activities related to written culture; and a contemporary approach to various professional spheres of the creation, preservation, distribution and assessment of books as information products; skills required for the cooperation between various cultural institutions whose focus is on books, reading, promoting literacy and education in Bulgarian society in the current environment of dynamic technological changes and challenges that are faced by traditional literary media.

Careers and Employability

Students who successfully complete the MA Program are prepared to:

  • Continue towards a higher educational qualification, such as PhD, in various scientific spheres;
  • Work on the systematization and assessment of books and publications and their preservation in various cultural institutions – national, regional and special museums, as well as specialized library collections attached to various religious and other institutions that may currently (for various reasons) remain unknown and unused by the public;
  • Working in various institutions and organizations with research, market, broker or distributor functions in the field of written culture;
  • Document services attached to publishers and editorials of mass communication outlets;
  • Organizations whose focus is the distribution and trade of written resources;