Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University -- Spring 2014
Questions will be drawn from the material after the first exam: that's Kitchen Sink Art, Jealousy, Minimalist Music, on through to the end of all other materials since. Check the online updated syllabus for an index, and Angel for all art movements and images, music tracks, and links to literature notes and quotations.
I. IDENTIFICATIONS. [Total 26 points.]
Maybe identify who is A... or the composer of the music of Koyaanisqatsi -- that kind of question. These questions will be inflicted individually during the first part of the exam: for the Make-Up Exam, that's Wednesday, April 30th.
II. QUOTATIONS. [Total 50 points.]
A combination of identification and significance questions will follow quotations from the literature, art images, music excerpts, film clips, and the other relevant materials selected for their representativeness of our discussions on key points ever since the previous exam. In the spirit of 21st-century cooperation (?), this section of the exam may be a collaborative effort: that is, you may work with one partner in the class. Just be wise in your establishment of boundaries; there is no reason you need to accept any teaming up at the last minute any knave who you're not sure you've even seen in class during most of the semester. You certainly may opt to work solo.
III. TAKE-HOME ESSAY. [Total 24 points.]
Answer the following question with brilliant critical thinking, originality, and superb writing skills. The essay should be a virtuoso piece of glory manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to specifics from the materials, properly documented, to the tune of about three (3) pages, double-spaced. This take-home component of the exam must be submitted as hard-copy in class on the exam day.
- Washington State University boasts many public art works distributed about the Pullman campus, most created near the end of the 20th century, some earlier, and some more recently. Images of several of these appear on Angel in a space at the bottom of the Lessons index called "Endgame." One public artwork is on the cliff behind Holland Library, past the "Nipple of Knowledge." Another is an outdoor sculpture located on the hillside between Thompson Hall and the Honors building. Vet Science hosts a couple others. And there are more. You first need to select and, ideally, visit one of these public art works.
In a three-page double-spaced essay, discuss your chosen art work in terms of modern art movements. What is this piece and what does it seem to be saying? Is it site-specific, commenting on the academic discipline associated with the nearest building? Contextualizing the piece with reference to more than one art school or movement may be appropriate.
Lastly, and this is the tricky part, associate the piece with other arts and humanities encountered in the course. Specifically, connect the message or the style of the piece with related trends in music and literature, perhaps film. Realize that the easiest, cheesiest way to accomplish this would be to declare the piece minimalist and drop a couple names like Philip Glass and Robbe-Grillet. The more successful essays will prove cleverer. This component does, it seems to me, require some creative and subtle critical thinking.
You are welcome, even encouraged, to cast this last writing as a personal essay. One of the objectives of this course has been "To increase intellectual maturation and clarification of our own values through examination of ideas and attitudes in literary/cultural contexts and through articulation of these." So what have you learned about yourself in relation to the arts and humanities of the last century?