THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG
Table of Contents > College of Communication and Information Sciences > Courses

8.7.2 BOOK ARTS (BA)
 
To enroll in BA courses, a student must be admitted to the Book Arts Program or have permission of the instructor.
 
Printing/Publishing
 
BA 520 Printing I: Elements of Printing. Three hours.
Craft skills used in fine letterpress printing are introduced in a studio environment. Through a number of printing/publishing experiments and projects, students gain an understanding of the nature and interaction of printing types with inks and papers; learn fundamental terminology; and gain familiarity with the equipment. The emphasis is on setting type, letterpress printing, and basic typographic design.
 
BA 521 Printing II: Typography and Printing. Three hours.
Prerequisite: BA 520.
Explores contemporary attitudes and innovations in fine printing and fine press publishing through individual printing/publishing projects, as well as a collaborative project. The focus is on typographic design, editorial decision making, color and image integration, and press work. 
 
BA 522 Printing III: Parallel Editions and Printing. Three or six* hours.
Prerequisite: BA 521.
Students initiate and produce an edition of a relatively extensive book. Emphasis is on production, with manuscript selection and editing being critical aspects. Photopolymer platemaking processes are introduced in a desktop publishing environment adapted to historic tools and media. Such subjects as marketing and distribution of limited-edition books are covered. For those students taking the 6-hour option, a Parallel Editions book may be produced.
*Required for students with concentrations in either printing/publishing or bookbinding.
 
BA 523 Printing IV: Printing and Publishing. Three or six* hours.
Prerequisite: BA 522. Refinement of typographical sensibility coupled with advanced book production experience, culminating in a limited-edition handmade volume. Direct experience with bookbinders, artists, illustrators, book distributors, and myriad post-production considerations for the fine press printer/publisher.
*Required for students with concentrations in either printing/publishing or bookbinding.
 
Binding
 
BA 530 Binding I: Elements of Binding. Three hours.
Drawing upon both the historic and contemporary Western bookbinding traditions, this course is an initiation into fundamental binding forms, techniques, materials, and design. A series of cloth and paper bindings will be designed and made. While design and innovation will be stressed, the primary focus of the course will be upon learning technical skills.
 
BA 531 Binding II: An Exploration of the Paper- and Cloth-Bound Book. Three hours.
Prerequisite: BA 530.
Students will continue to hone their fundamental binding skills and acquire new ones while also experimenting with the possibilities that the paper and cloth case binding forms offer, both one-of-a-kind and multiples. The examination and use of nontraditional materials and of innovative binding design are encouraged.
 
BA 532 Binding III: Leather Binding. Three or six* hours.
Prerequisite: BA 531.
A concentrated study of the use of leather as a binding cover material. Various binding styles and structures appropriate to leather treatment are studied. Familiarity with the preparation and application of leather in bookbinding is achieved through a series of assigned projects culminating in a final project. Though not the primary focus of the course, binding design and innovation will be studied and explored.
*Required for students with concentrations in either printing/publishing or bookbinding.
 
BA 533 Binding IV: Advanced Binding Exploration. Three or six* hours.
Prerequisite: BA 532.
An exploration of bound books as expressive forms. Students will further refine their leather-working and binding skills while developing their own binding styles. Emphasis will be placed upon personal binding interpretation of printed texts using traditional and nontraditional techniques and materials.
*Required for students with concentrations in either printing/publishing or bookbinding.
 
BA 534 Boxmaking. Three hours.
Prerequisite: BA 530.
Traditional and experimental forms of boxes and other protective enclosures for books. The use of paper, cloth, and leather, as well as other nontraditional materials, will be explored.
 
BA 535 Edition Binding/Parallel Editions. Three hours.
Prerequisite: BA 531.
Exploration, design, and creation of appropriate enclosures for books that amplify and enhance the typographic content of the fine limited edition.
 
Papermaking
 
BA 541 Hand Papermaking. Three hours.
Provides hands-on experience in the fundamentals of making traditional Western-style handmade papers using a variety of fibers. The objective is to produce reference samples of various kinds of sheets, as well as edition sheets of papers for book or art-making purposes.
 
BA 542 Decorated Papers. Three hours.
Introduction to decorative techniques, including experiences in the decoration of papers for binding and printing in a variety of techniques: Turkish watercolor marbling (ebru-su), Swedish oil-base marbling, Japanese suminagashi, paste papers, printed papers, and stenciling.
 
BA 543 Eastern and Alternative Fiber Papermaking. Three hours.
Introduction to the mysteries of Eastern-style papers handmade from natural fibers. We will also produce papers from plant fibers native or naturalized to the American landscape. The objective will be to make papers suitable for printing or bookbinding purposes, as well as substrate for artistic media.
 
Additional Courses
 
BA 590 Book Design and Production. Three hours.
Studies the theoretical and practical aspects of book design and production. Emphasis is on the aesthetic principles of bookmaking; the preparation of layouts; and the selection of type faces, papers, and binding materials.
 
BA 592 Graduate Symposium. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Fourth-semester standing.
Discusses professional standards, professional presentation and portfolio building, creative project research, exhibition design, management of a small business, marketing, and other topics. Six meetings during the course of the semester.
 
BA 593 Workshops in the Book Arts. One to twelve hours.
Workshops covering all subjects in the book arts, held both on and off campus.
 
BA 594 Practicum in Teaching the Book Arts. Three or six hours.
Prerequisite: Second-year standing.
Practical experience teaching introductory courses in printing, binding, and other appropriate book arts.
 
BA 595 Independent Project. One to six hours.
Provides an opportunity for the student to pursue independently a project in the book arts.
 
BA 596 Directed Research in the Book Arts. One to six hours.
Provides an opportunity for an intensive investigation of both historical and technical studies of a book-arts craft.
 
BA 597 Internship. One to six hours.
Prerequisites: Second-year standing and permission of the faculty.
A direct learning experience in a studio of a professional book artist.
BA 599 Creative Project Production, Thesis, and Exhibition. Nine to twelve hours.
The capping experience of the MFA in the book arts program is the creative project, thesis, and exhibition. Working with a faculty advisor, the candidate develops a project that demonstrates a deep understanding of the craft and the aesthetic, historic, and critical contexts of the book; to establish technical expertise; and to work independently. The thesis paper provides the student a formal means in which to articulate the aesthetic, historic, and critical contexts of his or her work as well as the scope and merits of the creative project. The exhibit, which is publicly presented in the Book Arts Gallery, provides the student with an opportunity to showcase both artistic and technical skills and to contextualize the body of work produced during the course of the program. A public defense with a slide presentation is also required.

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