About the Concentration
Frequently Asked Questions
Participating Faculty
The Rosenthal Fund
Book Studies Concentration

Related Links

Requirements For the Concentration

The concentration is composed of six courses. In addition to the gateway course and the senior capstone seminar, a student must take the two required core courses and two electives, chosen to support her area of focus. In addition, students are required to engage in one or two practical learning experiences in some field of book studies. The combined coursework will total no fewer than 19 credits; the practical learning experiences carry no credit.

This form will help you and your concentration adviser track your progress; it must by submitted to the Registrar no later than the end of the first week of your final semester:


Gateway Course: BKX 140

Perspectives on Book Studies

1 credit

The gateway course, BKX 140 Perspectives on Book Studies, is a week-long, 1-credit, J-term course that presents the major foci of the concentration—the manufacture, publication, distribution, reception and survival of book—in a series of interactive workshops that expose students to the variety of subjects relevant to the concentration. These include graphic arts, the production and transmission of texts, literacy and the sociology of the book. The course is directed in January 2018 by Nancy Bradbury, and will feature members of the advisory committee and others, on a rotational basis. The course may be supplemented from time to time with lectures from the many distinguished book studies people in the Pioneer Valley.


Two Required Core Courses

8 credits

Together these two courses provide an overview of interdisciplinary book studies and an historical context that will help students identify their own interests within the concentration and make informed decisions about fieldwork and capstone projects. Students are encouraged to take these two courses soon after entering the concentration.


Two Electives

8 credits

Two existing courses—at Smith or any Five College department or program—that address the themes and concerns of the Book Studies Concentration, and are approved by the Book Studies Advisory Committee.


Practical Learning Experiences

Practical learning experiences or internships are an integral element of the Book Studies Concentration. Students will complete two practical learning experiences (paid or supported by Praxis) that provide practical, first-hand knowledge of publishing, printing, librarianship, or any of the other professions and crafts that are encompassed by book studies. Students have responsibility for researching and securing appropriate internships from the wide array of local, regional, national and international internships identified by the concentration advisers. Each internship needs to be approved by the student's concentration adviser. See the Internships page on this website for the forms you will need to complete.

Click here for a list of several interesting (and recommended) internship opportunities.


Senior Capstone Seminar: BKX 300

2 credits

The culminating experience for the Book Studies Concentration is an independent research project that synthesizes the student's academic and practical experiences. The student's concentration adviser will serve as the sponsor for the project; topics for this capstone project will be decided in concert with the student's adviser and vetted by the concentration's director.

The capstone experience takes place in the fall of the senior year, in order to showcase the results in exhibitions, interpretive documents, or public presentations such as Collaborations, in the spring. While the project is completed and evaluated in the fall, the public showcasing of the work in the spring will provide a capstone for the hands-on, practical element of the concentration for seniors.

The senior capstone seminar is organized and taught by the director of the Book Studies Concentration, who also oversees the progress of the independent projects. Each student's project would be approved by the student's concentration adviser, as well as by the director.