Tag Archives: readings/research

High Renaissance Art

“High Renaissance Art: Climax of Renaissance art, ca. 1495-1520. In the work of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo, Italian art attained the High Renaissance ideal of harmony and balance within the framework of classical realism.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold

“Culture and Anarchy: (1869) The full title of this work by Matthew Arnold is Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Political and Social Criticism. Arnold felt it was necessary to shake the members of the Victorian middle class, the ‘Philistines,’ out of their smug complacency, and to show them the need for incorporating ‘sweetness and light’ (a phrase taken from Swift’s The Battle of the Books) into their daily lives. The book is known for its definition of a three-tier class structure of Barbarians, Philistines, and the Populace. Arnold also opposed Hellenism, which is concerned with beauty, knowledge, and imaginative free play, to Hebraism, which involves ethics, responsibility, and self-control. He felt that society was too Hebraic, and should show greater respect for ‘culture,’ which he defines famously as a canon of ‘the best that has been thought and said,’ but also as an action, ‘the study and pursuit of perfection.’ He believed culture should be disseminated throughout society with an aim toward social equality, though his own elite position blinded him to biases about race, sex, and class, and the destructive homogenization implied by his claim that individual perfection depends on the realization of the state as the ideal expression of community.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Rutherford B. Hayes

Here is a reading on President Rutherford B. Hayes along with its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet

Hayes was basically a cipher (in the sense of “one that has no weight, worth, or influence NONENTITY“), but his election in 1876, a result of the famous Compromise of 1877, was consequential indeed. The negotiations that elevated Hayes to the presidency directly brought about the end of Post-Civil War Reconstruction Era in the former Confederate States, but also engendered the Jim Crow laws that oppressed Americans of African descent, in most respects, to this day. When you think about the horrors that black people suffered and continue to suffer, think about the installation of Hayes in the presidency as a result of this chicanery.

This is a relatively short reading. But I think it could be the basis of a unit that I would like to think contained adapted text and teacher-made materials from C. Vann Woodward’s seminal treatise on this period of United States history, The Strange Career of Jim Crow (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001). If we want students to make sense of the present, then we must help them understand the real past–without obfuscation or euphemism.

Incidentally, I’ve attached the black history tag to this post, not because Hayes’ biography is black history–it manifestly is not. But the man’s effect on the lives and history of Americans of African descent really speaks for itself: generations of extrajudicial murder (including of children), apartheid laws, an unearned and misplaced sense of ethnic superiority attached to white skin–do I need to go on? Unfortunately, Rutherford B. Hayes is part of Black History in this country.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Cannonball Adderley

Cannonball Adderley: (orig. Julian Edwin) (1928-1975) U.S. saxophonist, one of the most popular jazz musicians of the 1950s and ‘60s. Adderley was born in Tampa, Florida, and worked as a music teacher before moving to New York in 1955. Arriving shortly after the death of Charlie Parker, he was hailed as Parker’s stylistic successor. He performed with Miles Davis from 1957 to 1959, then led an ensemble with his brother, cornetist Nat Adderley (1931-2000). Also influenced by Benny Carter, Adderley’s playing showed a strong blues inspiration, and his music in the 1960s reflected the introduction of gospel-music harmonies. He died following a stroke at age 46.

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Fin de Siecle

“Fin de Siecle: (Fr., end of century) Art of the end of the nineteenth century, also known as decadent art, which was created under the influence of the Aesthetic Movement in the style of Art Nouveau. Particularly associated with the highly stylized, black-and-white illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Cultural Literacy: Lenin

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on V.I. Lenin

Did you know that his real name was Vladimir Illyich Ulyanov? You can see from his patronymic that his father was named Ilya Ulyanov. Interestingly, given Lenin’s later revolutionary activity against the Russian state and its underlying structure of rank and status, Ilya Ulyanov was elevated by dint of education and talent to the position of Active State Councillor, which endowed him with the status of hereditary nobility

Lenin’s older brother, Alexander Ulyanov, on the other hand, fell in with the Narodnaya Volya, which attempted on March 1 1887 (six years to the day after the assassination of Emperor Alexander II) to assassinate Emperor Alexander III. Alexander Ulyanov was arrested, tried, and hanged along with his four co-conspirators for this failed plot.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Andrew Jackson

Here is a reading on President Andrew Jackson along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Your students–or anyone–won’t need to read far in this one-page document to find parallels with current history in the United States.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, January 8, 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “International Crisis”

The first Weekly Text for 2021 is this lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “International Crisis.”

This lesson opens with this Cultural Literacy Cultural Literacy worksheet on the proverb “you can’t have your cake and eat it too. To conduct your investigation of the international crisis, you’ll need this PDF of the illustration and questions that serve as evidence in this case. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key to assist you in bringing the culprit or culprits to justice.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review

La Marseillaise

“La Marseillaise: The hymn of the French Revolution and the national anthem of France. The words and music were written on the night of 24 April 1792 by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760-1835), an artillery officer in the garrison at Strasbourg, in response to a request by the mayor of Strasbourg for a military marching song following the outbreak of war with Austria on 20 April. Its original title was ‘Chant de guerre pour l’armee du Rhin’ (‘war song of the Rhine army’), but it became known as ‘La Marseillaise’ after it was sung in Paris in July 1792 by troops from Marseilles. It has had a checkered career as the French national anthem, being dropped in non-republican phases. It was first adopted in 1795 but banned by Napoleon when he became emperor. The ban continued after the 1815 restoration, but was lifted after the 1830 revolution. It was banned again on the establishment in 1852 of the Second Empire of Napoleon III, and was not readopted until 1879, some years after the establishment of the Third Republic.

Allons, enfants de la patrie,

Le jour de gloire est arrive.

(‘Come, children of the country, the day of glory has arrived.’)”

Claude Joseph Rouget De Lisle: ‘Le Marseillaise’ (1792), opening lines

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

Cultural Literacy: Joseph Stalin

After the historic (and historically disgraceful) events at the United States Capitol building yesterday, I can think of no better time to post this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Joseph Stalin. N.B. that unlike the preponderance of Cultural Literacy materials posted on Mark’s Text Terminal, this is a full-page (as opposed to half-page) document with six questions. In other words, it is suitable for use as an independent practice (i.e. homework) assignment, or for an in-class guided inquiry with struggling and emergent readers.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.