January 2021

The ABCs of Publishing

Listed in: , as COLQ-343

Moodle site: Course


Ilan Stavans (Section 01J)


A thorough, experiential course on the ins and outs of book publishing that includes a history of how books became our preferred channel for the dissemination of knowledge and entertainment and as a tool for political, economic, and cultural change. We will discuss the past, present, and future of the book, how it has mutated from Gutenberg to the digital age, and the challenges book publishing faces in the twenty-first century, not only in the United States but in the global scene. The objective is to study book-making and distribution from a critical eye and to come up with new solutions for book publishing in emerging or postcapitalist economies and for disadvantaged audiences. Strategies for acquiring, editing, publishing, and marketing books in the United States and in the global market will be discussed. Topics include budgeting; foreign and domestic rights; corporate, nonprofit, and academic companies; and collaborations with literary agents, translators, librarians, and booksellers. There will be an assortment of guest speakers. Students will participate in ongoing projects at Restless Books, an independent nonprofit publisher in Brooklyn devoted to contemporary global literature for children and adults and the classics.

Limited to 10 students.  Professor Stavans.

If Overenrolled: Priority to seniors, juniors, and sophomores.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Research, Attention to Writing, Online Only, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in January 2021