Modern Humanities End-of-Semester Exam
Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University — Spring 2021
BIG DAY: FRIDAY, APRIL 23rd, 1:00-2:00pm.
Your last significant obligation to this course will be an exam, questions drawn from the material only after the first exam: that’s The Plague, Beckett plays, Kitchen Sink Art, 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 a kind of index, and revisit Blackboard for all art movements and images, music tracks, and links to literature notes and quotations. Here is the plan for the last exam.
I. IDENTIFICATIONS. [Total 20 points = 10 questions, 2 points each.]
Short-answer questions will ask you to identify who is “A…” or the composer of the music of Koyaanisqatsi — that kind of question. On the designated day for this second exam — Friday, April 23rd, at 1:00pm — you will receive from me an e-mail containing identification questions similar to those on the midterm exam. Attached will be a Word document with the same questions, so that you can type the answers in whichever mode is safest and preferable to you.
II. QUOTATIONS. [Total 40 points = 8 questions, 5 points each.]
The same e-mail/document will contain bigger questions, mostly (but not all) quotation-based: combinations of identification and, more importantly, significance questions based on 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. You should plan to e-mail your completed exam back to me by 2:00pm. (Since probably very few of us are used to taking exams remotely like this, to depressurize the time frame note that I have reduced the numbers of questions in both portions.) You may work in coordinated cooperation with another member of the class, in which case only one of you should e-mail back to me with both names designated.
III. ESSAY. [Total 40 points.]
In accordance with traditional WSU policy, you should submit this essay also on Friday with the other portions of the exam as a separate document to a designated space on Blackboard. But, through the generosity and benevolence of me, you are afforded an automatic extension to Monday, April 26th, 12:00 noon. 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.
- 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? In a minimally three-to-four-page double-spaced essay, identify what content in this class made an impression on you and explain why.
I would prefer, but will not require, a multi-arts-and-humanities perspective from the second half of the semester: that is, inclusion of literature, music, fine arts, film, and others, since the midterm. If you like, however, you may focus more strictly, and you may include materials from throughout the entire semester. Take note, though, that an essay sounding like a “report” on a single art movement written for a Fine Arts class will disappoint, all around. Instead, consider describing your take on how the humanities manifested some particular anxiety of the era that interested you, or why you think minimalism in several of the arts took hold, or the increasing role of the reader/observer in “creating” the works, or some other theme. This is not an exercise in recounting what you “liked” or not: rather, what prompted the most important advance in your education as a reader, listener, observer, and participant in the world of ideas?
BIG DAY: FRIDAY, APRIL 23rd, 1:00-2:00pm.
ESSAY EXTENSION TO: MONDAY, APRIL 26th, 2:00pm.