Japanese Woodblock Print

The goal of this assignment is to use your visual analysis of a Japanese woodblock print(s) to respond critically to a scholarly essay.

1. Choose one of the three academic sources posted under Week 10 on Moodle and examine the author’s interpretation of prints.
2. Identify a specific argument(s) in the academic source to which you want to respond.
3. Present your own visual analysis of the relevant Japanese print(s) and discuss how your visual analysis supports, develops, refutes, or problematizes the author’s argument(s).

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• In the introductory paragraph(s) of your paper:
1) Introduce the print(s) by identifying its producer, title, and date.
2) Identify the specific argument(s) in the academic source that you will bolster, develop, refute, nuance, or problematize.
3) Articulate the objective and structure of your paper—that is, what you intend to demonstrate in your paper and how you plan to organize the paragraphs of your main body.
• In the main body of your paper:
1) Present a focused, precise, and insightful visual analysis of your chosen print(s).
2) Discuss how your analysis bolsters, develops, refutes, or problematizes the argument(s) put forth in the academic source. (For example, if you decide to bolster the author’s argument, you can identify aspects of the print that the author does not discuss and describe how your own visual analysis of these aspects of the print strengthens the author’s argument.)
• Be sure to include a conclusion that summarizes your argument and analysis.

Submission Guidelines
• Your paper must be four to six pages, double-spaced. Fill at least four pages, and try not to exceed six pages. Your paper should be formatted with one-inch margins and must be composed in 12-point Times New Roman font.
• Please be sure to indicate in parentheses the page numbers of the relevant passages in the academic source.
• Your paper will be evaluated based on the criteria below. Your grade for this assignment will constitute 30% of your final course grade.

Timeline for Completion
In order to ensure your successful completion of your paper, you will be asked to complete a particular task each week.
• Participate in the discussion fora on Moodle by 11:59 pm on Friday, 4/3, to unpack your chosen academic source with your classmates and deepen your understanding of the reading.
• The project proposal is due at 11:59 pm on Sunday, 4/12. Detailed guidelines for the proposal will be provided at least ten days before its deadline.
• Please submit your outline by 11:59 pm on Sunday, 4/19, and your first draft by 11:59 pm on Sunday, 4/26. You will receive full points for your outline and first draft as long as you take the assignment seriously and submit your work on time.
• The final draft is due at 11:59 pm (PDT) on Sunday, 5/3. Your paper should be uploaded to the assignment folder under Week 15 on Moodle in .doc or .docx format.

Recommended Readings
I recommend looking over the following resources (available under Week 4 on Moodle), as well as my comments on your visual comparison essay, to review how to analyze visual elements and design principles:
• Henry M. Sayre, “Using Visual Information: What to Look For and How to Describe What You See,” in Writing About Art (Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, 2005), 33–67.
• The J. Paul Getty Museum, “Elements of Art,” http://www.getty.edu/education/teachers/building_lessons/formal_analysis.html.

• Take advantage of the virtual Writing Center. You can schedule an appointment to work with Peer Writing Advisors and Faculty Writing Specialists at the following link: https://www.oxy.edu/academics/academic-support/writing-center.
• Isabel Norsten, the Art History Subject Advisor, is available for online advising from 5–7 pm (PDT) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please email Isabel (inorsten@oxy.edu) to schedule an appointment. You can find more information about peer learning at the following link: https://www.oxy.edu/academics/library/cdla/peer-learning.

Be sure to examine the print(s) and read the academic source multiple times. Take notes of your observations. Please use the following questions as a guide to help you develop your paper.

Textual Analysis
• What is the author’s argument? What are the key terms or concepts that the author employs to develop the argument? Cite key passages and explain them in your own words.
• Which aspects of the prints does the author focus on and why?
• What sorts of questions does the author raise about the prints? How does the author answer those questions?
• What kinds of evidence does the author use to support the argument?

Visual Analysis
• What sorts of motifs and figures are presented in the work?
• What kinds of visual elements are employed to represent those motifs and figures—e.g., line, shape, space, texture, color?
• Consider the use of the principles of design—e.g., rhythm, repetition, balance, proportion, scale, unity, variety

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