Chinese Creativity

Term Paper Requirements and Topic

Your term paper, worth 124 pts, is due via Beachboard Dropbox on 4/26 in class. It should be about 4 pages in length double spaced using 12-point, Times font, and one-inch margins. Any bibliography or illustrations should be at the end, and do not count in the required pages. Either MLA or Chicago styles are okay. You are encouraged to choose one of the topics listed below, although with my permission you may write on a topic of your choice. If you do your own topic you must submit, and have accepted by me, a thesis statement.

Each question involves a different set of issues in the “art historical project.” Assess which topic best suits your interests and skills. Neither of these questions will produce a paper in which you are expected to do research outside of the textbooks or specifically assigned readings. Rather, you are to analyze the images and the texts that I have given you. The goal is to think about what has been presented; it is not to find some “right answer” from information found in another source.

Please follow standard note and bibliographic practices—those used on our textbook. If you have any doubt about these, consult Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art. You will be graded on how well you make your argument, so writing is very important: your ideas are indistinguishable from the manner of their presentation. Look carefully, read carefully, making notes as you do both. Think hard and develop a clear thesis that you will demonstrate with specific analysis (not description). Make an outline to ensure that your presentation is orderly and that you cover all points without repetition. Write a draft. Print it out and then read it out loud, making corrections. Rewrite your paper, making sure that each paragraph has a clear topic sentence. Polish your prose so it is concise yet elegant.

 Chinese Creativity? (a theoretical topic about creativity)

Prof. Lothar Ledderose has recently argued (in his book Ten Thousand Things and in several articles) that Chinese conceive of creativity differently than do Westerners. Where Western tradition, beginning with Genesis in the Bible, often conceives of creativity as creation ex nihilo (from nothing) and puts a premium on those things which break the rules, overturn conventions, or “go where no man has gone before,” the Chinese tradition, Ledderose maintains, emphasizes on gradual change. The stress is on evolutionary or incremental difference in which artists add on to well-known and long-accepted styles. This approach stresses variation within a set pattern or type. In this view, Chinese creativity is an on-going process rather than one-time event. In this paper your goal is to defend and expand on this thesis, or to argue against it. Find works in our text books that support Ledderose’s thesis. Analyze the creativity of each work in terms of the style and subject, paying attention to how they contribute to the work’s function. Each new example you analyze should expand on and deepen your thesis rather than simply reiterating it. In your conclusion, can you find examples of works that seem to demonstrate the opposite of your thesis? If so, how do you account for these?

Please give me the addresses of where the infor you find is from? So that I can read over the information for myself and make any kinds of adjustments that I feel is needed.

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