Test - Chicago


A. What was the importance (or infamy) of Bunce Island?
Bunce Island was home to one of many slave castles (a fortified trade post) the Europeans built along the coast of West Africa. It was one of the most important sites for slave trade through the Middle Passage to the Americas. Most slaves were sent to the southern regions.

B. Who was Edward Hopper and why was he important?
Edward Hopper was an American realist painter and printmaker. Most of his paintings depicted the city life, illustrated through loneliness. One of his most paintings is Nighthawks, which we saw at the Art Institute.

C. Who was Telemann?
Georg Philipp Telemann was considered to be the greatest (German) composers of his time. Telemann was said to be able to write in any style of music and even sometimes came up with new styles on his own. He composed more than 40 operas, 46 Passions and 125 orchestral suites. While at the Chicago Symphony we listened to selections from Tafelmusik II.

D. What was India's Great Kumbha Mela Pilgrimage?
Kumbha Mela is an act of faith done by the Hindus. The Kumbha Mela Pilgrimage occurs four times every twelve years. The pilgrimage usually consists of millions of people, making it the largest gathering in the world. The people travel to the Ganges River to have a bath, which is supposed to wash away sins. The next gathering is in 2010.

E. What is the Great Rift?
The Great Rift Valley is a 6,000 mile long crack in the earth’s surface on the east coast of Africa. The Rift was formed by violent subterranean forces and is still moving. It is predicted that the land could eventually break from the continent.

F. What's a savanna?
A savanna is an area usually found between the dessert and the forest. A savanna is a flat grassland found is tropical or subtropical regions.

G. What is Porte de L'Afrique?
Porte de L’Afrique is French for the “door of Africa”. The city Marseilles in France is the port city where goods are sent between there and France.

H. Identify 3 ingenius innovations of the people of MesoAmerica.
1. Stone materials- spear point technology, Clovis times
2. Hunter-gatherer lifestyle
3. Concept of trade

2. How do you think art is a reflection of a society's fundamental beliefs and actions? Reference your experience at the Art Institute, the Islamic Center, the Spertus Museum and the DuSable Museum?
Art is a release of emotions, a reflection on how that artist feels at the time. Through the art exhibits we saw in Chicago, it is easy to understand that art is a reflection of a society’s fundamental beliefs and actions. The hard part is understanding what the artist is trying to portray and why. The guide at the DuSable Museum gave us some pointers on how to look at art. First the audience should take note of the artist’s name. Then look at where they were from, what time period they painted they master piece. This general information can allow one to fall into the artist’s mind and discover what exactly they were trying to express.
At the Islamic Center, there was barely any art. The Islamic religion does not look at “idols” for their worship of Allah. The only art found at the center was that of a colorful mural consisting of the ninety (or so) different names for Allah, or God. Although they do not look to idols in place of Allah, they can always count on that mural to remind them of what Allah represents.
On the contrary, the Spertus Museum contained art work full of stories by Jewish artists. In the exhibit “What does it mean to you”, the art work was supposed to tell the story. This is where knowing the name, the history would be helpful. Many of the pieces were created by people who were trapped with the terror of the Holocaust.
An artist’s work is an explanation of how they feel, what they have to go through. Some artist’s revolt in their art while others simply reveal what they see. Either way when art is studied and deeply observed at it can tell a story. Maybe reflect a society’s beliefs and actions.

4. What "thoughts" have you had from the remarks of Reza Aslan and his description of the complexity of working with Islamic/Muslim/Arab nations? How are the "pressure groups" different ala Aslan and what conclusions have you made about the Middle East situation ala Aslan? "What does it mean to you?"
To sit in on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs was truly an experience. Reza Aslan made many points and spoke of issues I had little knowledge of. Although I found it hard to follow along with Aslan at some points, he spoke of a few things that I particularly cared to hear. Words are the most powerful weapon. It was a surprising fact that before Obama spoke in Turkey, 90% of the people had a bad opinion of the United States. Aslan started off saying all positive things about our new president until he began to discuss the conflict between Israel and Palestine. In work with Israel, Obama receives an A. In work with Palestine, Obama receives an F. Aslan believes that Obama has too high of expectations for Palestine.
Something that confused me, but kept my attention was the discussion of the split between the east and west, nationalists (Islamists) and non-nationalists (trans-nationalists, Jihadists). Nationalism is the religious form of nationalism. Jihadism is a brand new movement that started in Afghanistan. It surprised me that most Jihadist are wealthy and do have an education. The Jihadists people cannot be negotiated with because they do not only want to rule their region but the world as well. Their goal is to destroy all state structures.
The best thing to do? Democracy in these nations cannot just done in a day. However, 1/3 of Muslims live under democracy already. Countries want democracy now, but, not just one election can bring that. People do not even understand what they are voting for (Egypt Presidential election is a prime example). But two, three, four elections, now they are on a track.
The United States is facing many issues with countries in the Middle East but with ideas from people like Aslan and the work of our country, I think it can be overcome (hopefully!).

Posted at 2:58 AM by Leah Schmidt