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CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Arts and Humanities Endowments Would Edge Up under Obama’s Budget

Federal funds for the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities would remain stable under President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year. His budget proposal, released last week, would raise each endowment’s budgets by roughly $200,000, to $154.5 million for the coming fiscal year. The two endowments offer grants to colleges for research and fellowships in the arts and humanities, among other activities. (Read more in the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Video of Instructor at USC Sets Off Controversy, but Is Context Missing?

A video of an instructor at the University of Southern California bashing Republicans in class goes viral and is cited as evidence of liberal indoctrination. But critics don’t mention that he was hired as an adjunct instructor for a program that seeks partisans—liberals and conservatives alike. (Read more at Inside Higher Ed.)

How Photographers Joined the Self-Publishing Revolution

Having long since shaken off the kind of stigma that still attaches to, say, self-published fiction, the self-published photobook is currently a mini-phenomenon within the bigger thriving culture of photography book publishing. The wider context for this DIY approach is the availability of relatively cheap digital technology and the attendant rise of social media–led networking, which allows photographers to disseminate, market, and sell their own books without recourse to the traditional artist–publisher relationship. (Read more in the Guardian.)

A Page from Our Handbook: Building Your Internet Presence

Because the internet is contemporary culture’s primary means for communication and information dissemination, having an active online presence is essential for artists. The web continues to rapidly evolve, so what follows are some basic ways to think about building and refining how you represent yourself and your work online. What’s most important is for you to find the best way to communicate the clarity, force, and excellence of your work and put that online. (Read more at Creative Capital.)

Cell Phones in the Classroom: What’s Your Policy

Are we old fuddy-duddies when we ask (demand) students to put away their cell phones in the classroom or clinical areas? Students tell me this is just the way it is now, but I disagree. What is the answer to this problem? Are faculty members being too demanding by placing cell-phone restrictions in syllabi or clinical handbooks? (Read more in Faculty Focus.)

Advocates Say Ethnic Studies Misunderstood, Needlessly under Fire

Ron Scapp, president of the National Association for Ethnic Studies, exited the airplane headed to his annual board meeting last week in Fort Collins, Colorado, ready to galvanize ethnic-studies program chairs from colleges across the country. He said he felt a sense of urgency because there were too many headlines in the news recently that might have detrimental consequences for ethnic-studies programs across the board. (Read more at Diverse Issues in Higher Education.)

Why Not a Two-Tier System?

In recent years, some very smart people—such as Michael Bérubé, Marc Bousquet, Anthony Grafton, and William Pannapacker—have offered their thoughts about how to fix graduate education and, by extension, the academic labor market, which, we all seem to agree, has “unraveled.” I approach this issue from a different perspective: as someone who does not work at a prestigious research university but rather at a two-year teaching college; as someone with several decades of experience on faculty search committees; and as someone who does not hold a PhD but instead something much closer to what Bérubé describes as “a rigorous four-year MA.” (Read more in the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Pragmatic Advising

My students, especially soon-to-be master’s-degree recipients, frequently ask about whether PhD programs are a good career path. Given the difficulties of this job market, even for students in a professional program who have experience in the field, the prospect of a PhD can seem like a permanent safe harbor. Appearances deceive, though, as a tight academic job market and a deepening reliance on adjuncts make even employment after the PhD a difficult proposition. It’s no surprise, then, that there’s been an increasingly strident pushback to the idea that PhDs are necessary. (Read more at Inside Higher Ed.)



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