merchants of doubt

Paper instructions

What do Oreskes and Conway mean when they refer to the “merchants of doubt”? How do they explain the existence of these “merchants,” and how do they think they should be refuted? How does Jamieson address the failure of America (and humanity in general) to present a coordinated response to the challenge of climate change? Finally, for Edwards, what role does the practice of computer modelling play in the politics of climate change? Why are some scientists outside the world of the atmospheric and oceanic sciences skeptical of these modelling practices?

Writing Assignment #1
For this assignment, you will need to select and write about ONE of these five paintings: 1)
Jean-Antoine Watteau’s The Feast of Love (c.1718–19), 2) Jacques-Louis David’s The Lictors
Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons (1789), 3) Edouard Manet’s The Railway (1873), 4)
Georges Seurat’s Models (1886–88), or 5) Paul Cezanne’s Still Life with Plaster Cupid
First, read the first five pages of T. J. Clark’s preface to his book The Painting of Modern Life.
Clark makes the following claim: “Painting is a limited and a limiting activity.” What does he
mean by this? What does he mean by calling the act of painting “a means of investigation”?
Next, read the excerpt from the chapter “Analytical Thinking” by Sylvan Barnet. How does
Barnet differentiate between the concepts of “subject matter” and “content”? How is “form”
related to “content”?
Now, spend about 30–60 minutes viewing the image of your chosen painting. On a sheet of
paper, with a pencil or pen, draw the artwork (that is, begin to analyze the artwork by
making an image of it). You should also write down notes about the artwork and what you
see; you can write these notes on the drawing itself. Drawing the artwork and taking notes
on it are exercises in “writing” that should help you actively process the artwork more
Next, use your drawing and written notes to write a 2-3 page paper about this artwork and
your experience of it. Your paper should provide a full, detailed description of the artwork.
What is the artwork’s subject matter? How would you describe its composition? What
details are particularly striking to you? What overall effect does the artwork produce?
In your very first sentence, make sure to state the artist’s name, title, and year so your
reader knows what you will be talking about in your paper.
Your paper will be graded according to the following criteria: clarity and vividness of the
artwork’s description; logical organization of information; thoughtful evaluation of your
experience of the artwork; and proper mechanics (correct spelling, grammar, etc.).
Note: I will assess your drawing by the density of information you provide, not technical
skill. I will use your drawing to get a sense of how thoughtfully you observed the artwork.
*A copy of your drawing and paper should be uploaded to the Google drive folder “Art
History I – Writing Assignments / 1-Writing Assignments #1” by 1pm on Thursday,
March 26. On this day, you should submit the following online:
• drawing of your selected painting, with your written notes on it
• 3-4 page paper, using 12 pt. font, double-spaced, and 1-inch margins
Save your file names using the following format: LAST NAME-Writing Assignment 1-
paper (or end with “drawing” for your image file)
Link to Google drive folder for “AH I – Writings Assignments”:
Art History I
Spring 2020
Writing Assignment #2
For your final paper, you will be revising and expanding your first writing assignment into
an interpretive analysis of your chosen painting from Writing Assignment #1. Based on the
painting’s subject matter and your close analysis of its form, your paper should present an
interpretative argument about the painting’s content: How are you interpreting the
artwork? What, would you argue, is the content, or meaning, of this artwork?
Your introduction should provide the reader with an overall view of your chosen artwork as
well as your interpretation of it. This means that in your first paragraph, you must do the
following: 1) mention the name of the artist, the title of the artwork, and the year/s it was
made so the reader knows what the subject of your paper is, 2) provide an overall view of
the artwork to build a basic image of it in your reader’s mind, and 3) end with your thesis
statement, which should lay out how you are interpreting the artwork. Essentially, you want
your introduction to create a working image of the artwork in your reader’s mind while also
letting your reader know what the point of your paper is (your interpretation of the
In the body of your paper, your analysis should proceed paragraph by paragraph, moving
from big picture to smaller details that stood out to you. You should move from concrete
visual description (your “evidence”) to interpretative claims (ones that build towards your
“argument”). This is not a research paper and you do not have to reference any readings
(though if you do, you should footnote your sources according to Chicago style—ask me if
you have questions). A strong interpretation is a convincing one, an argument that offers a
new perspective or point of view that should be based on what about the artwork really
stood out to you.
Your final paper should be 5–6 pages in length, double-spaced, using 12 pt. font and 1”
margins. Your paper should take the form of an essay, with an introduction that ends with a
thesis statement, multiple body paragraphs, and a conclusion that deepens your thesis. Each
paragraph should be focused around one topic sentence.
Your paper should also have a title that reflects your thesis.
Your paper will be graded holistically, with a focus on the following aspects: how vividly
and attentively you describe your chosen artwork, how clear and convincing the argument
is, and proper mechanics (correct spelling, grammar, etc.).
*A copy of your final paper should be uploaded to the Google drive folder “Art History
I – Writing Assignments / 2-Writing Assignments #2” by 1pm on Thursday, April 16.
On this day, you should submit the following online:
• 5-6 page paper, using 12 pt. font, double-spaced, and 1-inch margins
Save your file names using the following format: LAST NAME-Writing Assignment 2-
Link to Google drive folder for “AH I – Writings Assignments”:

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