Mid-Term PaperAssignment

Paper drawing comparisons between cases of controversial art. Compare two or more examples of controversial art from different times or locations. You may draw from examples used in the textbook. Remember to site each piece of art in your references.

Issues to explore:

o In what ways are the works similar/dissimilar?

o How did different contexts influence reception of the art in question (Censorship)?

o What impact did these cases have on the general public or the art world?

o What were the cultural backgrounds underlying the controversies?
Draw on material and cases in “Visual Shock” as well as other cases not discussed in

the textbook.
Possible questions to explore:

  • Why are the basis for the controversies?
  • Do you agree that the pieces are controversial?
  • Did current events contribute to the controversy?
  • How do regional issues affect the perceived controversies?
  • Did the controversy (opposite of acceptance) tend to dissipate/depreciatethrough exposure or time?Objectives
  • Identify and analyze ethical issues confronting the arts in the U.S.
  • Discuss strategies for resolving ethical issues confronting the arts.Paper Specifications
  • Digital file in PDF format.
  • Minimum of 1000 words of original text (about 4 pages)
  • Double spaced, 12pt font size, with 1 inch margins
  • Arial or New Times Roman font

• Appropriately referenced with citations of your sources

Note on references: Any facts that you learn from a book in researching your paper need to be cited. Common knowledge is not necessary to reference. Web sites with original content, like archives of a major newspaper, are appropriate sources. Wikipedia, or any other encyclopedia, is not a source. But it may list reliable sources which you can use and cite. You may use any style of formatting for the body of your paper and references as long as it is clear. A good guide for style is the Chicago Manual, which has a convenient, Quick Guide on-line.

Paper Grading Criteria

  • 20% Specifications – Pay close attention to the required specifications and you will get full points here.
  • 20% Grammar and Style – In addition to the basics of spelling and sentence structure, make sure that your paper has an introduction, body and conclusion.
  • 20% Factualness – Make sure that your sources are good and that you don’t mix up facts in your paper.
  • 20% Depth of material – Provide sufficient material to support assertions made in your paper.
  • 20% Logic and Relevance – How well do the facts in your paper support the assertions that you make?Content Consideration:The paper is weighted at 10% of the entire class’ grade. It is important to start early to complete a college worthy document. Please read the instructions for the assignment and choose your position (either for or against public funding of the arts) judiciously. Support your position/stance with valid argument and examples.The body of the paper is at least four pages (at least 1000 words). This does not include the title page nor the citations.On-line ResourcesHere are a few useful web sites that contain further information on art controversies and censorship.

• The File Room


  • Wikipedia listing of banned films
  • A miscellaneous collection of art censorship cases

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