Midterm Exam

The first half of the midterm is Term Identification and has two parts. 1) Define the term according to how it’s used in the humanities disciplines (how we’ve used it in this class); and 2) Explain how the term relates to one of the case studies we’ve explored through class texts, lectures, and discussions. Of the list below, SELECT 10 to define and explain.
Example: “Mimesis”: This is a Greek term describing art that imitates the appearance of nature, the reproduction of reality. The Greek philosopher Plato was wary of art and drama because it sought to produce the illusion, rather than the essence of things, and lead audiences away from philosophical truth.
The second half of the exam is an Essay. SELECT 1 question from the list below and compose an answer that responds to it. Your essay must include:
A thesis (argument) that offers your answer to the question posed.
Evidence and logical connections from the relevant readings, artwork, lectures, and discussion to support and develop your answer. If you quote or paraphrase from our readings, make sure you cite in MLA format with page numbers.
A conclusion.
At least 300 words. These questions are expansive enough you could write more than that and you are welcome to. At least 300 words, though.
Part I, Term Identification:
Catharsis

Recursion

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Simultaneous dramaturgy

Play-instinct

Disegno/design

Compositio/composition
Concinnitas
Cultural agent/agency
Iconology
Vanitas

Part II, Essay:
Throughout the semester we’ve encountered works of performance and art that have moral messages. (These include drama and comedy in Ancient Greece; humanistic theories of grammar, poetics, literature and art; theater in Brazil and elsewhere; architecture and art in Renaissance Florence; collaborative installation art in Mexico City, Baltimore and beyond; and painting in the Dutch Golden Age.) Compare and contrast two of the case studies we’ve explored in terms of their moral messages (how to live, what is justice, ethics, etc). What are the purposes of these works and how do they communicate their messages?
As you’ve read, the philosopher Aristotle theorized the rules for creating good drama and architect Leon Battista Alberti theorized rules for creating ideal architecture and painting. Compare and contrast these theories with two case studies that you select. Consider the function(s) that Aristotle and Alberti assumed for drama/theater/art/architecture; how those relate to the functions/purpose of the two case studies you’ve selected? How do humanistic forms of the past create a relationship(s) to the audience? How do the case studies you’ve selected break rules or create different relationships to the audience?

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