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HUM 313 Western Culture III: Zeitgeists and Revolutionaries (Jacqueline Dillion): Home

Art In Context Paper

5 pages plus Works Cited

For this paper, you may choose any one of the visual art selections that we cover in class. Your task is then to explore the cultural and biographical context in which the work first appeared. For instance, if selecting The Slave Ship by J.M.W. Turner, you would need to focus on the year 1840. You should consult and cite at least two biographical sources, which explain where the work came in relation to the artist’s own life and personal development. You should read and reference at least one review of the work from the time period to better understand how the work was received when it was first exhibited, and you should consult and cite a newspaper source from the year (here, 1840) that helps contextualize the work in relation to contemporary world events. Finally, you should incorporate at least two scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters which discuss the work from a “modern” perspective (that is, from within the last twenty years). Altogether, you should have at least six cited sources: two biographical, one review, one newspaper, and two scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles/book chapters. The paper must be five pages, double-spaced, plus Works Cited and should adhere to MLA style. This paper is due Tuesday, November 14th at 5:00 p.m. on Courses; you must also print and bring a paper copy to class the next day, November 15th. The submission time for this paper is designed to allow you time to complete the reading for Wednesday’s class.

Getting to Know Your Individual

For a quick overview of the life and contributions of an individual, find the person in this database and specifically one of more of the entries in the "Biographies" section.

Search the library catalog.  Print and e-books will provide more information about your individual's contributions.   Use the book's table of contents and index.  If using an e-book, you can easily search the full-text; for print books, you may be able to search a digitized version in Google Books to locate pages mentioning your topic (although you won't be able to read the full-text online).

Background Information

Look up people, places and events to establish context

British Periodicals


Locate subject specific articles

Add one or more of these subject specific databases to our large general database, Academic Search Complete (all are EBSCOhost databases)

Need more information?

While Pepperdine only subscribes to the full-text of modules I, II, and III of JSTOR, you can search all of JSTOR by going to the Advanced Search and selecting the Access Type: All Content.  If the full-text is not available in another of our library's databases, you can easily obtain it through InterLibrary Loan.

Background Information on Art Topics


Elizabeth Parang's picture
Elizabeth Parang
Pepperdine University Libraries
24255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90263

MLA Style Center

Information about the 8th edition of the MLA Style Handbook can be found in the MLA Style Center, including A Quick Guide to Works Cited, What's New and Ask the MLA

Brief helpful guide to MLA citation: MLA - 8th  instructions from Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL)