CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Oct 01, 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.

Why Academics Stink at Writing

Together with wearing earth tones, driving Priuses, and having a foreign policy, the most conspicuous trait of the American professoriate may be the prose style called academese. An editorial cartoon by Tom Toles shows a bearded academic at his desk offering the following explanation of why SAT verbal scores are at an all-time low: “Incomplete implementation of strategized programmatics designated to maximize acquisition of awareness and utilization of communications skills pursuant to standardized review and assessment of languaginal development.” (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Always Talk to Strangers

I attended a conference recently and stayed at a hotel that required me to take a shuttle to get to my events. On my first shuttle ride back to the hotel, I chatted with another hotel guest who was attending a different conference and also not staying at his conference hotel. We chatted about a variety of things before we got to that pivotal point when I was very glad I chose this particular hotel. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

End the Conference Interview

Why is it so hard to kill off the tradition of conference interviews? For decades, search committees in many fields have been holding first-round interviews at the annual meetings of their disciplinary organizations. That means the poorest and most vulnerable members of our profession—graduate students, adjuncts, and fixed-term appointees—have to spend a minimum of $1,000 just to get a shot at the next round. No one would call that a just system, and yet, it lives on. (Read more from Vitae.)

Fight over DIA Value Resumes in Court

When Detroit’s bankruptcy trial restarts, the battle over the value of the Detroit Institute of Arts will return to center stage. The city’s largest holdout creditor, the bond insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., is betting its case against the city’s so-called grand bargain on the premise that the city-owned DIA is worth billions more than the Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr is willing to admit. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

Millennials and Museums: Oil and Water?

It’s not enough to rely on the “intrinsic awesomeness” of your collections. If I don’t know about them, they don’t exist. In fact, even if I do know about them, that’s probably not enough to get me to come. Where do my priorities lie? Well, I’m trying to save money, I like to socialize and blow off steam with my friends, we like concerts and cocktails, to see art and go dancing. So, what can you offer me? (Read more from the Tronvig Group.)

The Museum Sacrifice Measure

How much are you willing to give up to work in a museum? How much did you give up to work in a museum? I’m not talking about quality of life issues such as relocating to a new city, having to explain over and over again, at parties, what a “registrar” is, or spending the day in a windowless cubicle tucked in next to collections storage. I’m talking about cold hard cash. (Read more from the Center for the Future of Museums.)

On the False Democracy of Contemporary Art

Art claims that it expands into the sphere of social transformation and genuine democracy. Yet paradoxically, art’s ambition for direct social engagement and its self-abandonment loop back to the very territory of contemporary art, its archive machine, and its self-referential rhetoric of historicizing. Hence the question is: Are we really witnessing the anticapitalist transformation that excuses art’s self-sublation and its dissolution in newly transformed life? (Read more from e-flux Journal.)

Something Old, Something New

The National Endowment for the Humanities has a new home and a new chairman, but the agency’s work to fund digital humanities projects continues unabated. The NEH Digital Humanities Project Directors Meeting was recently hosted for the eighth time in Washington, but for the first time in the agency’s new premises in the recently renovated Constitution Center. The event brings together grant recipients of the Office of Digital Humanities, the grant-making arm of the agency. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

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