The University of South Carolina is one of seven institutions worldwide to own a complete twenty-nine volume set of the works of the eighteenth-century architectural illustrator Giovanni Battista Piranesi. He is known for his meticulous and fanciful engravings of Roman architecture, ancient and modern, as well as his “imaginary prisons.” In his engravings, lush vines hang over classical ruins, eighteenth-century scholars cast light in the shadows of long-hidden family crypts, and faceless prisoners climb endless staircases past skulls and bones. Piranesi’s works reveal significant transitions in archaeology, aesthetics, architecture, engraving, and print. His works inspired many of the great names of nineteenth-century literature. This course, which meets in Rare Books and Special Collections, will situate Piranesi’s works in a number of contexts—printmaking, architecture, neoclassicism and romanticism—and explore his influence on authors of the Romantic period in European literature. Students will write short response papers, a longer paper on one or a few of Piranesi’s Views of Rome, and a final research paper on themes related to course materials. Students will also have the opportunity to contribute to a current digital project whose final form will not only present every one of Piranesi’s images but also reimagine their connections. The target audience for this course includes students with interests in European culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, graphic design, architecture, art history, the history of the book, literature, and the digital humanities. All texts will be taught in English.