For a week in June, I studied how to teach the history of the book with Professor Michael Suarez, SJ at Rare Book School. Prof. Suarez and my inspiring classmates (including old friends, and new) demonstrated how I can activate my students’ wonder and how I can honor the community of people who created the books that I teach at Oxford College—books like Paradise Lost, King Lear, and The Faerie Queene.
I learned how to teach in a way that will help my students understand that the linguistic code is only part of the book—they must also understand the bibliographic and social codes. I will try to help students understand that every text we read is the product of a world of human labor, from the paper makers, to the compositors, to the bankers, to the illuminators, to the rubricators, to the railway workers.
And as I learned from my RBS professor, I will model humility for my students, inculcate wonder, teach in pairs, construct the story, model affect, and help students understand that “knowledge and love are inextricably linked.” I will teach understanding that “speed kills wonder.”
Below are some images that hardly do the books or the experience justice.