Graduate students enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Washington may pursue the Textual Studies Degree Track. We do not currently offer a textual studies major or minor for undergraduates.
The field of textual studies comprises a wide range of complex and pervasive topics associated with the production, editing, dissemination, preservation and transmission of texts.
At the center of human culture and civilization stands a universe of texts. In their varied oral, written, printed, and electronic forms, they are fundamental to the expression, communication, and preservation of human thoughts and feelings, ideas and arguments; and their documentary records offer occasions for people in widely separated times and places to communicate with, and understand, one another.
Textual Studies includes many disciplines in its investigation, study, and practice. They range from the study of alphabets and handwriting styles to the composition and compilation of manuscripts and books; from the principles of textual editing to the techniques of manuscript preservation; from the technology of papyrus production to that of modern computing; from regional practices in oral composition to features of page layout and the use of SGML mark-up of texts for electronic storage, retrieval, manipulation, and display.
Coordinated study of these and related topics provides the foundation for professional, multidisciplinary study of literary, historical, artistic, legal, and scientific texts.