Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

20th/21st-Century Arts & Humanities: Exam

Humanities 304
Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University — Spring 2018


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. To study effectively in supplement to your own class notes, check the online updated syllabus for an index, and Blackboard 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: that’s Wednesday, April 18th.

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.

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 to four (3-4) pages or more, double-spaced. This take-home component of the exam must be submitted as hard-copy in class on the exam day.

  • Washington State University is rich with art: from impressive pieces often by famous artists represented in collections serially on display at the Fine Arts Gallery to numerous 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 latter appear in a Blackboard Content folder called Endgame.

    Select a Gallery/Museum or public work that sparks your interest. In a minimally three-to-four-page double-spaced essay, contextualize your selected work among the arts and humanities of the Modern World (the last hundred years).

    You will want to include, but not necessarily prioritize answers to such questions as these. What is this piece and, in terms of modern art movements what does it seem to be saying? What modern art movements perhaps influenced the artist? If a public art work, 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.

    But! Please note — and this is crucial: although considering this piece of art is the first stage in the process of planning and writing, this essay is not merely a Fine Arts analysis. This is the tricky part, but you need to 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 (or dance? or other?). 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. But you do need to conceive of the essay as interdisciplinary.

    You are welcome to cast this last writing as a somewhat 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?

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18th, 2018; 1:10 PM.