Following the success of the website for The Body in Ancient Greece and Rome, you have been hired to work as a paid intern, training volunteers to provide guided tours in the Museum of the Unclothed Body, located in a place of your choosing. Currently, the museum is hosting a new exhibition about the naked body in Christianity, displaying the material discussed in class and other relevant material from the same Christian denomination and time period (i.e. the Catholic tradition from the 11th to the 16th centuries).
The exhibition has four sections dedicated to the following topics: sexuality (Adam and Eve) motherhood (Mary –and possibly also Eve) sacrifice (Christ –and possibly also Mary and the martyrs) judgment (the end of time, Last Judgment)
The director of the department for community outreach has asked you to share with them another web-based essay on the same website in which you select a highlight from three of the four sections and discuss how they can be explained to visitors, so that they understand, through each specific work, how each theme reveals basic Christian beliefs in relation to the naked body. Note that the museum is able to display all movable paintings, sculpture, manuscripts or other object discussed in class, and reproductions of any immovable piece, like architectural sculpture, doors, mosaics, wall-paintings, etc. that cannot be moved from their original location. You are free to choose the three highlights among any material discussed in class or any other material you know about (not discussed in class), as long as they are all relevant to the topics at hand and belongs to the same Christian denomination and time period (European, Catholic tradition from the 11th to the 16th centuries). Please note that you are expected to analyze all three selected highlights in-depth and according to their historic, cultural context, so consider discussing material not covered in class only if you are well-prepared to explore it in detail, accurately, and meaningfully integrate it into the theme of the relevant sections. Length specifications and submission The web-based essay has to be between 850-1000 words double-spaced, 12-point letter size. Do not exceed the word limit!
Reminders Remember that writing is a social act: you write in order to share your ideas. Always provide all the information your readers need to follow your arguments and understand your thesis. Readers cannot “read your mind”, they can only read what you put in writing, so lay out your trail of thoughtfully and with clarity in your paper. Keep in mind the audience of your essay (besides the instructor and the grading TAs): the prompt asks you to write for the director of community outreach, to demonstrate how you would explain the theme of the exhibition to museum visitors, by using clear language and by providing all necessary information to somebody without prior knowledge of the material. Do not copy-paste text from the PowerPoints. You are expected to discuss the material in your own words. Learning objectives
The learning objectives of all essays in this class are similar: the assignments prompt you to reflect on class material, synthesize observations about it and present them in a coherent way that highlights prominent socio-cultural meanings and functions of the naked body in different periods and cultural spheres. As you write down your thoughts according to the prompts, you enhance your comprehension and retention of the material. You have a chance to explore main topics in more detail, and to develop 5 your own observations and arguments about them. During this process, you also cultivate your visual literacy, critical thinking, and writing skills. FAQ Do I need to mention other objects that I imagine displayed in each section? No. You should focus on your highlight pieces, and only if you absolutely need to mention other works to make a point, you can do that without diluting your focus. Can I choose an existing museum as the site of my exhibition or can I imagine one? Yes to both. In either case, you need to consider the culture of the city and country (or state) in which the museum is situated. If you are using an existing museum as the site of your exhibition, you could consider the character and tradition of that museum and how your exhibition fits in it. Can I use only a part of a work for my exhibition, e.g. only some scenes from Bernward’s bronze door? Yes and no: you have to exhibit a reproduction of the whole door (you cannot dismember even a reproduction), but in your essay, you can focus on the scenes that serve your purpose better –while still considering the context of the entire door.