INTERACTIVE TEACHING GUIDE essay topics
Art History
1) Pick a contemporary First Nations or Métis artist and compare his or her work to Paul Kane’s.
2) Discuss Paul Kane as a representative of the Romantic movement.
3) Explain how Kane changed his field sketches into paintings to account for the tastes of his contemporary audience.
4) Pick a nineteenth century artist, such as Jacques-Louis David or Eugéne Delacroix, and compare their work with that of Kane.
5) Discuss the changes Kane made between his field sketches and oil paintings.

Junior and Senior History/Social Sciences/Native Studies
6) Research and report on any of the First Nations or Métis communities that Kane encountered in his journeys.
7) Pick a painting (www.paulkane.ca ). Discuss the changes between it and the field sketches. Why did Kane make these changes?
8) Are Kane’s sketches and paintings accurate sources for historians and others to use?
9) What can we learn about First Nations and Métis lifestyles from Kane’s work?
10) Research and report on the historical background of early nineteenth century Canada and discuss the social and political context Paul Kane would have grown up in.
11) Research and report on the historical background of early nineteenth century Canadian First Nations and Métis lifestyles.
12) Are Kane’s paintings better historical sources than written accounts? Discuss.

Senior History/Social Sciences/Native Studies/Art History
13) What are Kane’s strengths and weaknesses as an anthropologist?
14) What evidence of cultural contact and European hegemony can we see in Kane’s work?
15) Was Kane an emissary of the British Empire or a sensitive observer of First Nations and Métis life
16) How different would Kane’s work be if he were a photographer? Would photography escape charges of bias?
17) What role do visual artists play in our sense of history? Compare their effectiveness to that of the written word or preserved artifacts.
18) Research and report upon the First Nations and Métis cultures of the Great Plains.
19) Discuss the influence of Rousseau’s Noble Savage idea on Kane’s work.
21) Was Kane an early proponent of Globalization through the Hudson’s Bay Company and the British Empire?
22) Research and report on the economic climate of the fur trade in Canada.
 


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