For this assignment, you will be exercising the parts of your brain that access and create visual imagery. You are asked to take a blank piece of standard 8 ½ x 11-inch piece of unlined paper and make an image or series of images that reacts to Histories excerpt and to produce a short piece of writing that illuminates and explains your work.
1. Review the excerpt of the text in full and find a visual image or series of images that really grabs you. Choosing the imagery is a creative act in itself and is a crucial part of your project.
a. Consider choosing a single physical object that plays a crucial role in a passage. What does it reveal about Herodotus and/or the people he is describing?
b. Or maybe you’d like to focus on a piece of poetic imagery or description from the text.
c. Another idea is to pick a theme for your Image sheet, like Animals Mentioned in the Histories, or Oracles and other Magic Stuff,
2. Think about and plan how to respond to this imagery with visual content of your own design.
a. Will you make a drawing? Will you seek to illustrate the image in a literal sense, or maybe respond to it in an abstract way?
b. Will your image sheet even contain what we think of as a “drawing,” or will it be something that resembles a diagram? Remember that charts, diagrams, graphs, collages, and other types of infographics are fair game for this. NOTE: Drafting/drawing/illustration ability has nothing to do with a student’s successful completion of this assignment.
3. Make multiple versions and drafts of your image/images on different sheets of paper. Set aside real time for this, and spend real time on this. Work and re-work the image in successive drafts until you are really pleased with your Image Sheet.
4. Write a two-paragraph Artist’s Statement that explains the connection between your image and the text. Again: take great care in revision and editing, both for content and for errors. Be sure discuss and blend both literary/analytical elements AND your own artistic process.
5. Scan or photograph your Image and save the file, usually a JPG, PDF, or PNG.
6. Upload your Image and paste in your Artist’s Statement into a discussion post on the Herodotus folder on Canvas.
GRADING CHECKLIST: 5 points each
1. Has successfully uploaded the post on time, and it contains both the scanned-in Image Sheet, and the 2-paragraph Artist’s Statement.
2. Gave the post an original title, not just “Herodotus Post” or the student’s name.
3. Embedded a viewable Image Sheet and artist’s statement WITHIN the post, rather than attaching the image as a file that can’t be seen.
4. Created an Artist’s Statement consisting of two paragraphs that is a sharp, analytical, moderately formal piece of error-free writing that aptly explains the connections between the Herodotus text and the Image Sheet. It blends academic discussion of the text with discussion of artistic process.
5. Made sure that the Artist’s Statement text is not part of the Image, and must not obscure the image or be super-imposed over the image in any way.
6. Incorporates COLOR as a significant element in the Image.
7. Has taken the photography/scanning process seriously for the Image, and has avoided uploading a dim, poorly-framed, badly cropped, or otherwise unattractive digital representation of the Image.
8. Clearly spent an impressive, prodigious amount of time on this project.
9. Uses the Image, not just the Artist’s Statement, to demonstrate a knowledge of the text that is truly comprehensive and specific, almost but not quite to the point of being obsessive.
10. Is innocent of intellectual laziness and has proven this by avoiding the most obvious, typical, and shallow choices a student might make. There is a clear effort to push past the obvious into something that is deeper and a great deal more fun than the kind of student work that’s easily predictable.