Art = Freedom For the semester research paper, you are asked to ponder the first word in the title of this assignment. Let the word “art” really sink-in as you consider all of the various mediums of art, the broad historical timeline of art, the vast geography of art, the varied philosophies of art movements, and the colorful eccentricities of artists themselves. Once you’ve deeply examined art in the contexts listed above, consider the second word in the title and ponder how deeply the concept of “freedom” is associated with it–both for humans engaged in producing art and for humans who view, hear, and experience art (the audience). Profound questions start to emerge when the two words are combined, such as whether or not artists can truly be artists if they not free to express themselves (?) or what art would look like and become if freedom were instantly extracted from it (?). . In countless more examples that are too long to list here, artists have responded both in freedom, through their chosen artistic medium, and to threats to freedom they perceive in their society.
I hope you are seeing that art is something vastly more than works produced, as important and valuable as those works are, as it is also deeply philosophical, conceptual and theoretical. I would argue, and you are free to disagree if you like, that art is integral to our humanity because it is through art (expressing/producing it or admiring/receiving it) that our innate sense of freedom as human beings is inspired and stirred. In other words, I suggest that art is deeply rooted in the human spirit, and we can both identify and appreciate it when we encounter it—even in nature. So as you consider how you will respond to this assignment and/or what examples you will choose to support whatever thesis you write, be sure to keep an equal focus on both works of art and ideas behind, or expressed through, such works.
So, now that you have a general big picture understanding of the ideas involved with this assignment (at least from my perspective in creating it), it is about YOU deciding where YOU will go with it. It is about you constructing a manageable and interesting thesis that brings focus to what is otherwise a very large concept. Feel FREE (pun intended) to take this idea in whatever direction you wish. Your goal is to construct a statement that emphasizes the concept of freedom and art. It should also be quite clear in your thesis that you either agree with the general sentiment I express in the overview, regarding the synonymous nature of freedom and art, or that you disagree with it (you certainly aren’t required to agree with me). For example, a very strong case against what I’ve stated in the overview is this: all art involves certain degrees of skills that must be learned and developed by following and applying certain rules or principles; if this is so, it poses a serious question to the freedom in art right? Or does it not challenge the concept? So, in either agreement or disagreement with the sentiment, your thesis must be supported with good reasoning and examples.In terms of focus, it doesn’t matter if you look more at artists over the works they produce, and it doesn’t matter where in geography or when in history you place your focus. However, with that said, I do want to see multiple examples of artists, works, periods of time in history, and geography (to a reasonable degree, since the world is a big place and history is long) included in the overall paper—even if your emphasis is quite focused. Requirements:Length: 6-7+ pages (not counting the Works Cited page)Sources: 5+ QUALITY sources*. Our class textbook is the first source “Humanities Through The Arts” 10th edition available in SCRIBD, and it should be used heavily. Other sources should included academic journal articles, which can only be acquired through the HCC library online databases. Regarding internet, NO “.com” domains (only .org / .gov. / .edu domains are allowed), and absolutely nothing from Wikipedia.
Format: MLA Only
Voice: Third Person Only
*Regarding the Quantity of Quoted Source Content: While I encourage and require the use of sources, be aware that over-using sources is problematic, and it can result in a poor or failed grade on an essay assignment. I like to think of 22% – 25% as a healthy percentage of quoted words in an essay assignment that requires you to research and use sources.