College Art Association

CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Oct 30, 2013

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.

Government Shutdown Cost Smithsonian Nearly $3 Million

The sixteen-day federal government shutdown cost the Smithsonian an estimated $2.8 million in lost sales and around 800,000 visitors, according to a statement from the institution. The bipartisan Senate agreement that ended the shutdown will provide back pay for all furloughed federal workers, including 3,512 Smithsonian employees. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Can Yelp Change the Way We Think about Art?

Yelp gives us a quasi-empirical way to pinpoint the best slice of pizza in half-mile radius. In the process, though, the service has done something else: it’s democratized food criticism, giving anyone with an internet connection a mandate to opine on cuisine, decor, ambiance, and the overall aptitude of a restaurant’s staff. No matter how little you know about Thai food, on Yelp, your voice is heard. For the last few years, Brian Droitcour has been turning over an interesting question: why can’t it do the same for art? (Read more from Wired.)

Welcoming Art Lovers with Disabilities

On a recent Friday night, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York held its first public exhibition of original art made in its “Seeing through Drawing” classes. Participants—all blind or partly sighted—created works inspired by objects in the museum’s collection that were described to them by sighted instructors and that they were also allowed to touch. In another gallery, a tour in American Sign Language was followed by a reception for deaf visitors. (Read more from the New York Times.)

The Enduring Value of Enduring Questions

In an October 22 letter to Carole Watson, acting chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, questioned grants the agency has issued to consider questions like “What is the good life and how do I live it?” Sessions affirmed “the value of the humanities” but insisted that “care and discipline must be exercised by any government agency that decides to favor some projects over others.” (Read more from Commentary.)

Intro to Résumés for CV-Minded Academics

In academia, your curriculum vitae (CV) is the master list of all your professional accomplishments and a requirement when looking for jobs in academia. The modern academic CV is usually a multipage document that covers everything of note you have accomplished during your graduate education. Outside academia, the traditional format for job applications is the résumé, which is easy to forget when all the people around you are obsessed with growing their CVs. (Read more from Grad Hacker.)

From Welfare to the Tenure Track

Last summer, as her forty-fifth birthday approached, Melissa Bruninga-Matteau made a promise to “end part of her life.” She had earned a PhD in medieval history from the University of California, Irvine, back in 2011 and hoped to glide into a solid faculty position. Instead, the previous two years had been marked by disappointment, depression, and rejection. Though she had applied for more than one hundred teaching openings, nothing much had panned out. (Read more from Chronicle Vitae.)

Staying Relevant

If basic market forces are reshaping higher education, common knowledge dictates that incumbents will lose market share to newcomers. But based on discussions at a conference on sustainable scholarship hosted by Ithaka, which promotes innovative forms of teaching and scholarly communication, no one—from faculty members to librarians—intends to play the role of the incumbent. Disaggregation, unbundling, and public-private partnerships were recurring themes during a daylong brainstorming session on innovative forms of teaching and learning—themes that the almost two hundred attendees suggested could prevent their fields from becoming obsolete. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Slave of the Internet, Unite!

Not long ago, I received, in a single week, three invitations to write an original piece for publication or give a prepared speech in exchange for no money. As with stinkbugs, it’s not any one instance of this request but their sheer number and relentlessness that make them so tiresome. It also makes composing a polite response a heroic exercise in restraint. People who would consider it a bizarre breach of conduct to expect anyone to give them a haircut or a can of soda at no cost will ask you, with a straight face and a clear conscience, whether you wouldn’t be willing to write an essay or draw an illustration for them for nothing. (Read more from the New York Times.)

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