Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Modern World Humanities Midterm Exam
Spring 2024

Humanities 304 — Delahoyde
Washington State University

MIDTERM EXAM:
A RITE OF PRE-SPRING


BIG DAY: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26th.

I. IDENTIFICATIONS. [15 questions; total 30 points.]

Maybe match Column A with Column B; or identify the character who says, “Give it me, Léa, give me your pearl necklace!” — that kind of question, only a bit more difficult. These questions will be inflicted individually and intracerebrally during the scheduled class period, Monday, February 26th. I will e-mail you the questions (both as e-mail text and as a Word doc) by 1:00pm and will expect answers (either format) e-mailed back to me individually by 2:00pm. And there is No Exit!

II. QUOTATIONS. [8 questions; total 40 points; “Take Five” points each.]

Included in the same e-mailing will be a combination of identification and, more importantly, significance questions, following quotations from the literature, musical excerpts, and images from the other relevant materials selected for their representativeness of our discussions on key points during these first weeks. This is not Trivial Pursuit, and I derive no glee from stumping you; but you do need to recognize key ideas and moments from the works and from our class interactions. If you have spent time with the material and paid attention in class, only a close review of notes is necessary for preparation. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a “Mood Indigo.”

For these first portions of the exam, you may work in coordinated cooperation with another member or two of the class, in which case only one of you should email back to me with other name(s) of the other contributor(s) clearly designated.

III. TAKE-HOME ESSAY. [Total 30 points.]

DO THIS PART FIRST!

DO THIS NOW! Answer the following prompt thoroughly and precisely in a minimum of three (3) pages, double-spaced. The essay should be a virtuoso piece of brilliance manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to specifics from an assortment of the 20th-century materials.
An e-copy of the essay is due on exam day — Monday, February 26th, 1:00pm — to be dropped in Canvas in the Discussions section.

  • What would you say has been the most important value for you so far in getting involved in the early 20th-century’s arts and humanities this semester?
    Forego the AI ChatCRAP spewing, which is still embarrassing, and consider what has been the most important new message or realization the authentic you may have received from the early 20th-century arts and humanities materials at any time during these first weeks of the semester. You might address the question: what good are the early 20th-century arts and humanities to us living in 2024? (Beware inauthentic fake answers. If you assert that we get a better sense of the times and its people, then the new question is simply what good is that?) Note also: this is not solely an art essay, and it is not a history essay. It show demonstrate facile interdisciplinary knowledge.) I want to read what is going on in this facet of your educational experience while it is still happening. Prove your mind and spirit exist.

  • The essay is due in the Discussions folder on Canvas at the start of exam time, prior to the other “in-class” components of the test. Here is more Essay Advice.


    SAMPLE QUESTIONS

    IDENTIFICATIONS:Identify the character, author, or thing referred to (underlined) in the following.

    “Naked, if need be,” she would say,”but squalid, never!”

    _________________________________

    “Where is my son?”
    “Tomorrow, thousands will ask in anguish, where is my son?”

    _________________________________

    He has been dubbed “the father of electronic music.”

    _________________________________

    The art movement represented by Isamu Noguchi’s Table, Charles Eames’ Plywood Chair, and Eero Saarinen’s TWA Building.

    _________________________________

    * * *


    * * *

    QUOTATIONS: Answer completely but concisely the following.

    “Come closer. Closer. Look into my eyes. What do you see?”
    “Oh, I’m there! But so tiny I can’t see myself properly.”

    Identify the author and the work.
    What important concept is the author trying to convey through this kind of seemingly trivial moment?


    Observe the image on the back of this exam page.

    What 20th-century art movement is represented here?
    Upon what features can we make such an identification?
    Do you agree with the philosophy behind such art? Why or why not?


    Listen to the musical excerpt.

    What eastern European composer and ethnomusicologist wrote this piece?
    If this is, in a sense, “program music,” what is the program or story behind it? What musical evidence do you have?


    BIG DAY: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26th, 1:00 pm.