How art embodies cultural identity (Aztec Vs.New nations of the US)
Essays should be double spaced and submitted in a Commonfile format, such as Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), pdf, or Rich Text Files (.rtf an option available with nearly all modern word processing programs). Work on the file on your computer, and then e-mail it to me, putting your name and the words HUM 2450 Essayin the subject line
The question for this essay follows:
It should be 2-3 pages long, double-spaced, in MLA format. It should be a minimum of 700 words (use the Word Count function in your Tools menu in Word, or a similar word count tool, to check this before submitting your essay).
Write an essay showing how art embodies cultural identity, by comparing and contrasting Aztec art with the architectural symbols of the new nation of the United States.
If you use any outside sources, you must fully document them in MLA style, using both in-text citations and end citations. If you need a refresher on how to cite sources, this site is useful:
Your essay must have an arguable/debatable thesis. I will be e-mailing some information to you about thesis statements, so please read it carefully before writing your essay. In a nutshell, your thesis is a primary claim you are making in the essay. You then support that claim with evidence in the body section of the essay. Evidence can include expert opinion (cite any sources used), facts and statistics (cite any sources used), examples (cite any sources used), your own ideas and arguments, analogy, etc. Think of it as a courtroom argument. In a courtroom, and attorney makes a claim to the jury, and then presents various forms of evidence to support that claim. The idea is to use various means to convince the jury of the validity of the claim.
As an example, this would be a possible thesis statement: The organization of the city of Tenochtitian revealed a different architectural statement from the organization of Washington, DC. The Baroque style of Washingtons architecture suggests order, domination of nature, and an Enlightenment belief in the power of science to control their surroundings. On the other hand, the architecture of Tenochtitian paid homage to the surrounding volcanoes and to the citys gods, used the waters of the lake as part of its security and defense, and provided architectural areas for rituals used to try to appease natural forces. This is just an example; you dont have to write on this topic, or about architecture.
Please use good critical thinking skills. Trust your own ability to argue and analyze. While basing your ideas in solid information, use your own independent thinking to put the information together in your own way. You can do this!
Here are some possible source materials you could use:
(1) The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec, by Mary Ellen Miller (Thames and Hudson, 1986), pages 162-230.
(2) Art History, by Marilyn Stokstad (Abrams: 1995), pages 872-8.
(3) The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. by Stanley Sadie (Macmillan 1980), Aztec Music (Volume 1, pages 760-1).
(4) Masterworks of American Indian Literature, ed. by John Bierhorst (University of Arizona Press: 1974), pages xi-xxiv; 3-97.
(5) The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, Expanded Edition in One Volume (Norton: 1997), Aztec Literature, pages 1731-42.
(6) Music of Latin America (videotape VCT 2083, watch about the first 8 minutes)
(7) 500 Nations Video series, Vol. 2, The Rise and Fall of the Aztecs.”
(8) Aztec Art by Esther Pasztory, U. of Oklahoma P, 1983