Writing Assignments


There will be two written and two oral assignments due in this class. The first set of assignments will be presented in class in the fifth week (February 26th and 28th). The second set will be presented in class in the eleventh week (April 23rd and 25th). The presentations should be between 10 and 15 minutes long, and they should be illustrated.

The presentations and written pieces form a part of a single coherent research project on one of the topics listed below, which you can choose on the first day of class. These topics are purposefully broad to give you the greatest opportunity for finding something within the topic that is of interest to you, or from which you might develop Plan-level work. The idea of the two presentations is to research the transformation of your topic over time in the history of art. Thus, your first presentation will analyze the state of your topic in the Early Christian or Early Medieval Period. The second presentation will do the same for the Renaissance or Modern Period. You may approach your research from whatever focus you wish. For example, you may wish to take an iconographic approach that may analyze the development of a particular image or narratives, say the Descent into Limbo. An iconographic approach would analyze the component parts of the representation, who is shown, where are they, how is the location signified, etc. Alternatively, an historical approach to the same subject may look at where the image appears, in what context and what are the historical circumstances that surround its creation. Or you might want to approach your subject from a comparative perspective, analyzing the role of the subject within the Eastern Church versus that in the West.

Each in class presentation (handed in on the day of the presentation) will be followed by a written research paper that will articulate and develop the ideas that you presented in class (handed in the following week).

Please note, due dates are not negotiable. If you start your work early, as you should, you will have plenty of time to get research and writing done before you get sick or some other things happens.


  1. Christ’s identity – man, God, magician etc.
  2. Saints and intercessors
  3. Who are the evangelists and what do they do?
  4. The Virgin Mary
  5. The Apostles
  6. The emperor/King
  7. The pope and the priest
  8. The Church and the Synagogue

Nuts & Bolts

Your first writing assignment should be about 5 (outline) to 7(final) pages, you should have consulted 10 or more sources of which at least 7 need to be articles published in peer-reviewed journals or books. This means that you should not be relying on websites, they are helpful  places to get started on a topic, but as this assignment is intended to allow you to grapple with the scholarly community’s approach to, and ideas on, a particular issue, websites are not the best source. You should take careful notes on the class’s comments on your presentation and then incorporate them into what you hand in the following week.

Your second writing assignment is a fuller more developed example of the kind of research you can do. It should be about 7(outline) to 15(final) pages and you should have consulted 15 or more sources from which at least 12 need to be articles published in peer-reviewed journals or books.

Your written work must be footnoted using the Chicago Manual of Style footnote format  (which you can find here - http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html ). Papers handed in using any other format will be returned unread.

On the day of your in-class presentation you should hand in your outline. This can either be in outline or prose format. The Paper due the following week should be in prose.



  • Please note that I do not accept late papers and you cannot re-schedule your presentations once they have been scheduled. You must upload your paper to the courses site in order for it to be considered “submitted”. I will not accept papers emailed to me.
  • If you wish to take this class for reduced credit you need to request this before the Add/Drop deadline. I will not lower class credit after this deadline.
  • Please be respectful of your fellow students and myself and do the reading before coming to class. If for some reason you were unable to do the reading (and there should be a very dramatic reason) please do not skip class but do refrain from presenting opinions or ideas that demonstrate your lack of familiarity with that day’s reading
  • Your attendance and active participation are a required part of this class.
  • Please come prepared to engage in respectful and forthright discussion.


Attendance and Participation - 20%

1st In-class presentation – 10%

Outline of presentation due on the day of the presentation - 10%

Research paper incorporating comments from class 15%

2nd In-class presentation – 15%

Outline of presentation due on the day of the presentation - 10%

Research paper incorporating comments from class - 20%

Last modified: Monday, January 21, 2013, 10:52 AM