CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Jan 08, 2014

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.

Conventional Wisdom

Thousands of literature scholars will emerge from their research cocoons, don their finest black duds, and descend upon Chicago for this year’s convention of the Modern Language Association. They’ll all be there: muckety-mucks whose rings ache for kissing; frazzled early-career professors angling for tenure; and, of course, hordes of desperate graduate students and barely employed PhDs, hoping to break into what everyone actually calls “the profession.” (Read more from Slate.)

How the Humanities Compute in the Classroom

Computer-assisted scholarship in the humanities dates back decades. In the past five years, though, the kinds of work collectively known as the digital humanities have taken on fresh luster. Observers have called this technology-inflected research “the next big thing.” Beyond the headlines and hoopla, digital scholarship has begun to work its way into the academic ecosystem. In the following collection of articles, read more about how the digital humanities play now in the undergraduate classroom, whether they pay off in tenure and promotion, and what it takes to create a work of digital scholarship that will last. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Garage Sale Renoir Painting Sparks Legal Battle with Museum

A one-of-a-kind Renoir painting the size of a napkin is at the center of an intense legal battle between a museum that claims it was stolen and a Virginia woman who claims she bought it for $7. The tiny work of art is an 1879 landscape by the Impressionist painter titled Paysage Bords de Seine. In court papers filed this week, the Baltimore Museum of Art claims the painting was stolen in 1951. As evidence, the museum provided a sixty-year-old police report, old museum catalogues, and a receipt showing that a patron bequeathed the painting to the museum. (Read more from ABC News.)

Conserving Priceless Chinese Paintings Is an Art All Its Own

Outside China and Taiwan, American museums hold the world’s best collection of Chinese paintings. It’s worth billions of dollars, but it’s also fragile: over time, these paintings fall apart. In the US, only four master conservators know how to take care of them, and they’re all approaching retirement. The Freer and Sackler Galleries—one of the huge, stone Smithsonian buildings on the National Mall in Washington, DC—employ one of those masters. (Read more from National Public Radio.)

Technology in Museums: Less Is More!

The experience of going to a museum often feels a little engineered. A heavy curatorial hand leads you through an exhibition, making it hard to resist reading the panels of information contextualizing and explaining the art or artifacts on display rather than come to your own appreciation of them. Audio guides offer to fill in gaps in your knowledge and give you expert insights. Sometimes glistening screens nearby beckon you to see more. (Read more from Spiked.)

Let’s Change the World for Art Students in 2014

Funding cuts and a move to banish art lessons from schools made 2013 a sad year for creative education. But art students and their staff are regrouping for a fight they believe is there to be won. The number of students applying to study creative arts in British universities is on the decline. According to the latest available data from UCAS, the number of applications fell 17 percent from 2011 to 2012. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Mock, Phone, Video Interviews

Participating in a mock interview my first time on the job market was the most embarrassing moment of my academic career. I dressed in as close to a suit as I owned at the time and walked into the large classroom we had scheduled, where the seven faculty members sat in a semicircle. They were all specialists in their fields, so their questions probed my ability to be conversant in each field, whereas my specialty was about combining the fields. Yet I wasn’t able to articulate how or why I did that. Realizing that I really couldn’t answer their questions was incredibly humbling. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Ten Tips for Tweeting at Conferences

Tweeting at conferences is a great way to share what you’re learning in a session with your followers and the wider world. It’s also a great way to be in two places at once, as you can read tweets from other sessions that you weren’t able to attend. You can read those tweets as they come in or—if you’d rather not fracture your attention—read them after the fact using a Twitter search. (Read more from ProfHacker.)

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