Chuck Klosterman’s “Which Rock Star Will Historians of the Future Remember?”
5 source minimum (see Annotated Bibliography)
1 of the 5 sources must be a non-text object
Overview: In Chuck Klosterman’s 2016 NY Times article “Which Rock Star Will Historians of the Future Remember?” the author explores the historical significance of Rock, wondering what Rock history will look like hundreds of years into the future. Klosterman presents the idea that all forms of art are eventually represented by a single, wildly popular artist. He uses John Philip Sousa as an example, noting that more than 100 years after his life and popularity, John Philip Sousa now represents the entire genre of marching band music. In examining rock music, Klosterman uses Sousa’s dominance of the marching band genre to guide his quest for the “John Philip Sousa” of Rock.
Prompt: Use Klosterman’s article as a guide to explore any form of artistic expression. Choose a popular artist in a genre you enjoy, whether it be a form of music, film, literature, fashion, technology or other area of creative innovation.
Create a thesis that argues for the enduring popularity of his or her work.
Analyze this person’s career:
What have they contributed
Why is it valuable?
Apply Klosterman’s concepts to your analysis and argue in favor of the enduring importance of this person’s work:
Why will people of the future will remember this individual as the representative of an entire genre of creativity?
Explain why the artist of your choosing is “the John Philips Sousa” of his or her genre (like the way Klosterman argues that Sousa represents all of marching band music and Bob Marley represents all of reggae).
You may select a popular figure in any of the following fields:
Literature— a story writer, novelist, poet or playwright
Music— a popular musician in any genre
Cinema or Television— an actor, director, creator, or producer
Print media— a traditional or photo journalist
Fashion— a fashion designer
Visual Art: photographer, painter, sculpturer, or street artist
Technology—a game, app, or software designer
As you analyze, consider the following questions. In the process of considering these questions, you should conduct significant research to become better informed about possible topics.
How does this person promote specific values?
How is this person’s work representative of wider social assumptions that are reproduced and circulated and/or published, including the scope and method of circulation?
How is the person’s work experienced or interpreted?
How does this person’s work contribute to and actively shape cultural ideals and expectations?
How does this person’s work support or revise conventional ideas, practices, or expectations?
How does this person’s work create meaning?
How does this person’s work participate in influencing the formation of personal or group identity?
What is this person’s role in society?
What essential elements of its form (visual or textual composition, style, presentation) contribute to creating meaning in this form of expression?
How does this person’s work adhere to conventions of a larger genre or category? (the “genre” may be action movies, men’s magazines, etc.)
After considering these guiding questions, determine which question or questions lead you to develop an insightful and informed interpretation of the significance of this person’s contributions to his or her field.
Audience: Your audience is your instructor and other members of the class, representative of an adult, educated, academic audience.
Length: 4-6 pages (1000-1500 words), not including the non-text object and Works Cited page
Use the Essay Structure resource, along with the strategies from the LUMEN Resource modules to guide your essay structure and organization.
Include an original title (not “Unit Two Essay” or “Education Essay”)
Use MLA 8th edition documentation style to format your essay
Compose a thesis statement that argues for the enduring popularity of the artist’s work
Include at least five (5) resources from the CCBC Library Database
One of the five sources must be a non-text object (image, audio, video) inserted into the body of the essay
Organize the essay so that each body paragraph is providing support for your thesis (use “Essay Structure” resource and LUMEN modules for guidance)
Cite all sources using MLA style in-text citations
Include an MLA style Works Cited page at the end of the essay (not included in 3 page minimum)