College Art Association

CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — May 28, 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.

By Paying Artists Nothing, We Risk Severing the Pipeline of UK Talent

Contrary to public expectation, but not the experience of many in the sector, most galleries in the United Kingdom do not pay exhibiting artists. In the past three years, 71 percent of artists didn’t get a fee for contributions to publicly funded exhibitions. And this culture of nonpayment is actually stopping artists from accepting offers from galleries, with 63 percent forced to reject gallery offers because they can’t afford to work for nothing. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Looking beyond the Tenured

An interesting dilemma lies ahead: where will all the academic administrators come from? Historically most administrators in academic affairs—whether they be department chairs, program directors, deans, or provosts—have come from the ranks of tenured faculty. But with faculty increasingly being contingent and off the tenure track (70 percent), there has not been much consideration of where administrators within academic affairs will come from. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Let’s All Stop Worrying about Grade Inflation

This month, all over the country, thousands upon thousands of college instructors are losing sleep over grade inflation. They’ve worked hard all semester to make their students better thinkers and writers with a wider base of knowledge. They’ve done their level best to assess their students’ performance in class fairly and accurately. They’ve devoted many hours to choosing the most appropriate assessment criteria for the their classes’ objectives. And yet, staring at a long list of As, A-minuses, and B-pluses, these otherwise confident and self-assured teachers feel real guilt at adding to what is surely the scourge of American education. (Read more from Vitae.)

“Empathetically Correct” Is the New Politically Correct

When I was attending graduate school in the late 1980s and early 1990s, political correctness reigned supreme. Lassoing the powers of language, literature, and the law, the movement dubbed PC initially worked toward the good goal of greater inclusiveness for marginalized communities. Eventually, it morphed into a tyranny of speech codes, sensitivity training, and book banning. But it seems political correctness is being replaced by a new trend—one that might be called “empathetic correctness.” (Read more from the Atlantic.)

Prehistoric Hunting Scenes Unearthed in Spanish Cave

A series of hunting scenes dating from seven thousand years ago have been found by archaeologists on the six-meter long wall of a small cave in the region of Vilafranca in Castellón, eastern Spain—but it is being kept a secret for now. A layer of dust and dirt covered ten figures, including bulls, two archers, and a goat. The murals were exposed to harsh weather, but the paintings pigments have not seriously deteriorated. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Impressionists with Benefits? The Painting Partnership of Degas and Cassatt

In her novel I Always Loved You, Robin Oliveira imagines a passionate scene between Edgar Degas—a French artist known for his paintings of dancers—and Mary Cassatt—an American painter known for her scenes of family life. The kiss in the novel is pure fiction, but then again, “nobody knows what goes on in their neighbor’s house, let alone what happened between two artists 130 years ago,” the author says. (Read more from National Public Radio.)

Glasgow School of Art Archivists Begin Fire Salvage Effort

Specialist archivists from the Glasgow School of Art have begun the operation to conserve items damaged by the fire that ripped through the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building in the city center last week. The salvage effort will also retrieve the work of students who were preparing for their final-year degree show in the building at the time of the fire, which is believed to have started in the basement. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Faculty Refuse to See Themselves as Workers. Why?

Many academics, especially those in the tenure track, just resist seeing themselves as laborers. Academics, even many adjuncts, continue to think they belong to a loosely meritocratic system in which the best work rises to the top, peer review remains the optimal way to judge the quality of work, and if you work hard enough, you’ll be fine. (Read more from Vitae.)

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