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ARTH 290B: Music Video and American Visual Art: Home

This guide was created to support the students enrolled in Dr. Cowan's Music Video and American Visual Art course, Fall 2021.


Artist-Over-Time Analysis


  • The purpose of this assignment is to analyze the changes over time in the music video oeuvre of a single musical artist or music video director in a 6-page paper.
  • You will select an artist (or director) with a substantial music video corpus that has engaged distinct genres, aesthetics, styles, political debates, and/or socio-historical contexts over time.
  • Your paper will draw on scholarly sources as well as reviews or other popular press materials.
  • You will also marshal evidence from your observations of at least three music videos.
  • In order to support your development as a writer, this is a scaffolded assignment with multiple deadlines and opportunities for feedback.

Skills: The purpose of this assignment is to help you practice the following skills that are essential to your success in this course, in art history, at DePauw, and in professional life:

  • Develop a research topic, assessing the availability of research materials relevant to that topic
  • Dilate your attention to visual and auditory information, especially details that are not immediately apparent
  • Sort and prioritize your observations; generate vivid language to describe them
  • Conduct scholarly research using academic sources as well as popular press materials
  • Situate cultural material in socio-historical context
  • Generate an annotated bibliography that demonstrates organized, strategic research
  • Engage with scholarly sources in a thoughtful way in your own writing, using paraphrase, summaries, and quotations appropriately
  • Synthesize your observations in an organized analytic essay
  • Use evidence to support an original thesis, effectively communicating your point of view to a diverse audience

Annotated Bibliography:

  • You will also prepare an annotated bibliography with at least four sources.
  • Please review this Purdue OWL resource on how to prepare an annotated bibliography:
  • Your annotations should be no more than 100 words in length each.
  • Please focus on summarizing the source and reflecting on its applicability to your research topic.
  • Only include sources in the annotated bibliography that you have vetted and found helpful to your research. All of your citations should be from credible sources.
  • At least two should be from scholarly publications (academic journals or books published by a university press).
  • Only use an encyclopedia as a source if you have a compelling reason to do so; only one citation may be for an encyclopedia entry.
  • If you have any uncertainty about what qualifies as a “credible” or “scholarly” resource, please consult with the professor, librarian, or W-Center.

Music and Performing Arts Librarian

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Sylvia Yang
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