Project 2: TAC Assignment for English 101 / History 100 Linked Classes


This is a dual-submission assignment. Give your final version on a floppy disk to Dr. Michals on Monday, October 7, and she will pass the disk on to Dr.Grindel. Please also give each professor a hard-copy version of the assignment at your first class meeting in the week of October 7. Each professor will give this assignment a separate grade. Your document should be about two pages long, including images. You should examine the sample assignment below in addition to the following instructions.



Technology Across the Curriculum Goals:


You will be able to use graphical and multimedia representation technologies. In this assignment, you will use Netscape Composer to perform the following tasks:


Perform simple manipulations of an existing image (download, upload, resize, change format from one kind to another).


Understand the different kinds of images (.gif, .jpg, .bmp) and their characteristics and be able to choose among them appropriately. For more information, visit


Insert an image into text.


By mastering or drawing on these technical skills, you will use visual images creatively to generate questions about a specific issue in Western Civilization, questions you may explore further in your research writing (Projects 3 and 4).





Visit Art History Resources on the Web, a superb site maintained by Dr. Chris Witcombe of Sweet Briar College’s Art History Department. It’s a portal to just about every relevant art museum in the world:


Look at a variety of different historical periods and kinds of art. Choose an image that interests you, one that you like but feel that you do not fully understand. Spend some time trying to figure out what you like about this image and what more you would like to know about it.


Present the full image itself. By the image, offer basic identifying information about it: where the original is located, what it is, and where it can be found on the web. Also explain here what strikes you most strongly about this image. What looks strange and interesting to you?


Zoom in and enlarge two significant details in your image. Include them in your document. By each of these visual details, ask questions that relate to it. These questions are possible starting points for Project 3 (your annotated bibliography) and Project 4 (your research paper). Write more than one sentence about each of your questions. In his comments to you, Dr. Grindel will give you an historian’s perspective on which of these questions might work best as a research topic.



Working on-line


Susan Campbell, our Instructional Resource Center’s Learning Technologies Analyst, has provided instructions for all of the computer skills you will need to use in order to complete this assignment.


How to Save an Image from a Web Page with a PC


How to Insert an Image into a Word Document


How to Wrap Text Around an Image in a Word Document


How to Crop an Image in a Word Document


How to Resize an Image and Undo the Resizing of an Image


How to Change the Contrast and Brightness of an Image in Word




English 101 / History 100: Project 2



This image, “Locusts Come upon the Earth,” is drawn from an illuminated manuscript, a copy of the Commentary on the Apocalypse by Beatus of Liébana. It was produced c.1180 in the Monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, Burgos, with tempera, gold, and ink on parchment. The original page is 44.5 x30 cm, and is located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York. It can be found on the web at


I am struck by how colorful and unrealistic-looking the image is: since it represents the end of the world, I assume that it is supposed to be frightening, but it does not look frightening to me because the colors are so cheerful and the figures are so flat and stylized.


 I have four questions about it: First, why were monks in San Pedro de Cardena, Burgos, interested in producing images of the end of the world around 1180? For example, were social conditions especially unsettled then, and did that instability make them feel as if it were time for the apocalypse?


Second, why do the figures’ faces look calm and expressionless, not terrified, as they would look in a scary picture or horror film today? Did painters and sculptors at this time usually decide against representing emotions realistically? If so, why? Or is this decision something unusual about this piece? 



Third, why did they represent locusts, which I believe are insects that destroy agricultural crops, as human-sized zebra-striped reptilian monsters that seem to be attacking people directly? Did these monks actually not know what locusts look like because those insects were not native to their region and travel and science were limited, or did they know perfectly well what locusts really look like, but decided to represent them in this bizarre way to get some idea across?


Fourth, how can the colors in this image be so bright today? Are they the original tempera paint, or have they been restored? If they were restored, how do we know they are the right colors?