Summary essay for Chinese art history

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This paper is a brief summary of Robert Bagley’s “Interpreting Prehistoric Designs,” in idem., Iconography without Texts (Warburg Institute Colloquia 13, 2008), pp. 43-68. Reprinted in idem., Gombrich among the Egyptians (Seattle: Marquand Books, 2015), pp. 102-119. The article can be found in the Week 3 files on Canvas. The article is closely focused on the concept of universal motifs and how iconography is treated in art history. Bagley uses very clear language in this article, however, some of the issues he raises can become abstract when you try to summarize them. Make sure you are understanding the subtleties of his argument and remember to be clear and concise, as you will have to keep it short.

For this short essay, please articulate a precise description of the main arguments Bagley advances and the principal evidence he adduces to support his assertions. It is intended to develop your skills as a critical reader and to show your ability to formulate and articulate your observations in written form. In this paper, you are not supposed to make your own argument. Rather, you should summarize the content of the reading by addressing these questions:

  • What is the topic of the article?
  • What is the central argument of the author?
  • Which kind of evidence (pictorial, textual) does the author draw upon to support his argument?
  • How does he use said evidence to support his conclusion?

Remember that every time you quote, paraphrase or summarize others’ work, facts, ideas, etc. you must cite your source. For this assignment, use parenthetical citations at the end of each sentence where you use Bagley's text. For example: (Bagley 114). Footnotes and endnotes are also acceptable if used with a correct and consistent format. Since you will only use one reading for this assignment, you are not
required to have a list of works cited at the end of the paper, nor should you require any outside research.

Formatting Requirements and Submission

The paper should be 250-500 words long, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and Times New Roman font, size 12. You will be asked to submit your file on Canvas by Friday November 6, at 11:59 pm PST. 25% will be deducted every 24 hours for late submissions, and no paper will be accepted after the Sunday following the due date (unless otherwise arranged with me in the case of documented sickness or family emergency).

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