Reading Response Paper Assignments

From Rebirth to Reform: Art and Society in Renaissance Italy

Erin Benay
Fall Semester, 2008
Monday/Wednesday 11:30-12:50
Apple Tree


Reading Response Papers

The Basic Idea:

All three assignments are similar—they all ask you to write about an article that you have read and to think critically about how that article impacted your understanding of Renaissance Art. Each paper should be 3-4 double-spaced, typed pages. Each assignment assumes that you have read and thought hard about the authors’ arguments. You should question whether or not the author did a good job of balancing historical information with visual analysis and consider what types of evidence the scholar used to support their conclusions. Then, weigh in by explaining how that article impacted your knowledge of the artist/object/theme in question.

The Details:

Assignment I, Due October 15th

o On December 24th we will discuss Katherine Weils-Garris Brandt’s article about Michelangelo’s Pietà and then on the 29th we will discuss William Wallace’s essay on the same sculpture. The two authors have very different things to say about this work of art. Which article is more convincing and why? How has reading these two essays affected your understanding of Renaissance sculpture?

Assignment II, Due November 19th

o Pick a reading that we have discussed in class (you may choose any reading other than those discussed in Assignment I, or Paoletti/Radke). You should commit to a reading that you found particularly interesting either because you liked or hated it. Explain why you chose this article. Be careful—that sounds like an easy question but it isn’t. It assumes that you will build a case for what the author did right or what they did wrong. How did this author’s presentation of the material change or complicate your understanding of the subject at hand?

Assignment III, rough draft due Dec. 3rd, Final due Dec. 8th

o For this paper you must choose an article that we have not discussed in class. You will need to use the library resources in order to do this (we will talk about this in class) and should choose a subject/artist/theme that you have found interesting and would like know more about. You must run your choice by me by November 24th. Because this paper is not about a class reading, you will have a rough draft due and we will spend class time discussing your work on December 3rd. Consider the very same question that you have thought about all along—How did reading this article change or complicate your understanding of the artist or object and their place in Renaissance art history?

Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM