posted by CAA — February 16, 2018
In 2013 the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) launched the Measuring College Learning (MCL) project as a way to engage faculty in the effort to understand and improve student learning in their discipline through development of better tools for assessment in higher education. CAA recently partnered with the SSRC to create an MCL-Art History panel that would outline learning objectives for introductory art history courses, including identifying essential concepts and competencies that demonstrate foundational knowledge of the discipline. The MCL-AH panel convened in July and December 2017 to produce a draft document.
The MCL-Art History panel will host an open forum at the CAA Annual Conference from 2:00-3:30 PM on Friday, February 23rd in Room 511A of the Los Angeles Convention Center to collect CAA member feedback on its initial draft of core learning goals. The panel plans to share the draft document, solicit input and observations, and respond to questions from the community. CAA members are also invited to review the draft document and share observations before, during, and after the annual conference (until March 31, 2018).
Link to MCL-AH Document: http://highered.ssrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018.02-MCL-in-Art-History-Report-for-CAA.pdf
CAA Member Feedback to: email@example.com
Background on the Measuring College Learning Project
In MCL projects faculty and other experts come together to consider what students should learn in their majors and how that learning should be measured. Panels of experts from six disciplines participated in the first iteration: biology, business, communication, economics, history, and sociology. Several national disciplinary associations—including the American History Association, the American Sociology Association, and the National Communication Association—were actively involved in this project. The culmination of this work was the publication of Improving Quality in American Higher Education: Learning Outcomes & Assessments for the 21st Century (Jossey Bass, 2016). More information and resources from this project are available on-line for free download at: http://highered.ssrc.org/projects/measuring-college-learning-project/.
MCL-Art History Panel Members:
Richard Arum, University of California-Irvine, SSRC Senior Academic Advisor
Cole Edick, SSRC Program Assistant
Christine Havice, Kent State University
Richard Lubben, Lane Community College, CAA Education Committee
Elisa Mandell, California State University Fullerton, CAA International Committee
Walter Meyer, Santa Monica College, CAA Professional Practices Committee
Chika Okeke-Agulu, Princeton University, CAA Board of Directors
Stephanie Smith, Youngstown State University
MCL-Art History Co-Chairs:
Virginia Spivey, Independent Scholar and Consultant, CAA Education Committee
Andy Schulz, Penn State University, CAA Board of Directors
Jim Hopfensperger, Western Michigan University, CAA Board of Directors
posted by CAA — February 12, 2018
Earlier this afternoon, the White House released its 2019 Budget Proposal. The $4.4 trillion budget outlines deep cuts in domestic programs that fund education, arts, and humanities initiatives, while increasing military spending.
“By zeroing out the budgets for the NEH, NEA and similar agencies that support the arts, humanities and education, the President has shown again that he cares more about tax cuts for the wealthy than supporting an American cultural heritage, funded though these agencies,” said Hunter O’Hanian, CAA’s executive director. “Thankfully, a bipartisan group of Congressional members, those with the real financial authority, have Americans interests at heart and they will reject the President’s draconian proposals.”
The entire budget proposal adds $984 billion to the federal deficit in the next year and in total adds $7 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.
Partial list of programs slated for elimination:
- Corporation for Travel Promotion (Brand USA)
- Delta Regional Authority
- Denali Commission
- Northern Border Regional Commission
- Woodrow Wilson Center
- S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
- S. Trade and Development Agency
- Chemical Safety and Hazard Inspection Board
- Under SNAP: “Proposals are also included to eliminate funding for State performance bonuses and for SNAP nutrition education grants…”
- Economic Development Administration
- Contingency Fund
We call on our members and those who believe in the importance of the arts, humanities, and education to act now. The most effective way to make your voice heard is through your local representatives. Call. Email. Write letters.
Congress has this budget in their hands and now is the time to let them know you support the programs it seeks to eliminate.
We look forward to discussing budget advocacy at our Annual Conference in Los Angeles, February 21-24.
posted by CAA — January 25, 2018
Honorees this year include Pepón Osorio, Firelei Báez, Kellie Jones, Joseph Masheck, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Lowery Stokes Sims, and many other scholars, artists, authors, and teachers
CAA Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA, February 21-24, 2018
CAA is pleased to announce the recipients and finalists of the 2018 Awards for Distinction and the creation of a new Award for Excellence in Diversity. Honorees this year are among the leading scholars, artists, teachers, and authors in the field of visual arts. The CAA Awards for Distinction are presented during Convocation at the CAA Annual Conference on Wednesday, February 21 at 6:00PM at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The CAA Annual Conference runs from February 21-24, 2018.
Among the winners this year is Pepón Osorio, recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement. Osorio is the first artist of Puerto Rican descent to receive the award from CAA. Drawing on his childhood in Puerto Rico and his adult life as a social worker in the Bronx, Osorio creates meticulous installations incorporating the memories, experiences, and cultural and religious iconography of Latino communities and family dynamics. “The work is created when I bring together where I am and where the rest of society is,” said Osorio in an Art21 documentary about his work. Osorio is a professor in the Community Arts Practices Program at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He is also the recipient of a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship, among many other awards and fellowships.
Firelei Báez is the winner of the 2018 Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work. Báez was born in the Dominican Republic and works in New York City. Her work on paper, canvas, and in sculpture explores black female subjectivity, myth, and science fiction. Baez is a creator of fantastical figures that transmute through ornate pattern and vivid color. She has held residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts, Joan Mitchell Center, Fine Arts Work Center, Lower East Side Print Shop, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace, and is the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Award in Painting, the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting, and the Chiaro Award from Headlands Center for the Arts.
The newly created Award for Excellence in Diversity recognizes the work of an individual in the visual arts whose commitment to inclusion in scholarship or in practice stands out as groundbreaking and unifying.
The inaugural winner of the Award for Excellence in Diversity is Kellie Jones, Associate Professor in Art History and Archeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. Jones’s research and teaching concerns African American and African Diaspora artists, Latinx and Latin American artists, and issues in contemporary art and museum theory. Her most recent book, South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s, was published by Duke University Press in 2017.
CAA will also award for the first time two Distinguished Feminist Awards, one to a visual artist and one to a scholar. The winners of the 2018 Distinguished Feminist Awards are Lynn Hershman Leeson (visual artist) and Lowery Stokes Sims (scholar).
In publishing, CAA recognizes the achievements of several authors and editors.
Charles Rufus Morey Book Award
Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art, Yale University Press, 2017
Laura Anne Kalba
Color in the Age of Impressionism: Commerce, Technology, and Art, Penn State University Press, 2017
The Art of Philosophy: Visual Thinking in Europe from the Late Renaissance to the Early Enlightenment, Princeton University Press, 2017
The Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China University of Washington Press, 2017
Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award
Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holcomb, editors
Jerusalem, 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016
Wanda M. Corn
Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern, Brooklyn Museum, DelMonico Books, Prestel, 2017
Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950, Yale University Press, 2016
Robert Cozzolino, Anne Classen Knutson, and David M. Lubin, editors
World War I and American Art, Princeton University Press, 2016
Pilar Silva Maroto
Bosch: The 5th Centenary Exhibition, Thames & Hudson, 2016
Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions
Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965, Grey Art Gallery, New York University and DelMonico Books, Prestel, 2017
Jane A. Sharp, editor
Thinking Pictures: The Visual Field of Moscow Conceptualism, Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, 2016
Kevin Sharp, editor
Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art, University of Oklahoma Press, 2016
Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism
The Concrete Body: Yvonne Rainer, Carolee Schneemann, Vito Acconci, Yale University Press, 2016
Art Journal Award
“Curating Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit: Inuit Knowledge in the Qallunaat Art Museum,” Art Journal, Summer 2017
Nazar Kozak, “Art Embedded into Protest: Staging the Ukrainian Maidan,” Art Journal, Spring 2017
Allison Young, “Visualizing Apartheid Abroad: Gavin Jantje’s Screenprints of the 1970s,” Art Journal, Fall/Winter 2017
Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize
Aaron M. Hyman
“Inventing Painting: Cristóbal de Villalpando, Juan Correa, and New Spain’s Transatlantic Canon,” The Art Bulletin, June 2017
AWARDS FOR DISTINCTION IN TEACHING, WRITING ON ART, AND CONSERVATION
Helen Frederick is the winner of the 2018 Distinguished Teaching of Art Award.
Edward S. Cooke, Jr., and Alex Potts are the winners of the 2018 Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award.
Joseph Masheck is the winner of the 2018 Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art.
The CAA/American Institute for Conservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation award for 2018 will be given to Paul Messier.
Learn about the juries that select the recipients of the CAA Awards for Distinction.
Nick Obourn, Director of Communications, Marketing, and Membership
Joelle Te Paske, Media and Content Manager
IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
Hashtags: #CAA2018 #CAALA #CAAworks #CAAadvocacy #CAAfairuse
posted by CAA — August 30, 2017
October 2 (PhD candidates) and November 10 (MFA candidates) are the deadlines for the CAA Professional-Development Fellowships. The program supports promising artists, designers, craftspeople, historians, curators, and critics who are enrolled in MFA, PhD, and other terminal-degree programs nationwide.
Fellows are honored with $10,000 grants to support their work, whether it be for job-search expenses or purchasing materials for the studio.
“I remember sitting in my graduate school studio applying for the award. I was day-dreaming about how it could help me be a self-sustaining artist and maybe start my career in teaching. A few months later I received notification of the award and I’m happy to say the grant has helped me enormously with both of my day-dreams, artistic and academic. CAA’s Professional-Development Fellowship for Visual Artists has stabilized a shaky phase of my career and life, continuing an artistic practice after graduate school. The award funds helped me to kick-start my studio space, travel for photography research, and secure teaching positions right out of graduate school. CAA’s support of developing visual artists is certainly outstanding and to an even greater extent, appreciated. I’m happy to now be a CAA member and encourage others to apply for the fellowship without hesitation.” —Daniel Kraus, 2016 Professional-Development Fellowship Recipient
One award will be presented to a practitioner—an artist, designer, and/or craftsperson—and one award will be presented to an art, architecture, and/or design historian, curator, or critic. Fellows also receive a free one-year CAA membership and complimentary registration to the 2018 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, February 21-24. Honorable mentions, given at the discretion of the jury, also earn a free one-year CAA membership and complimentary conference registration.
CAA initiated its fellowship program in 1993 to help student artists and art historians bridge the gap between their graduate studies and professional careers.
posted by CAA — March 31, 2016
Staff members from CAA flew to the windy city to exhibit and meet the attendees at the 2016 National Art Education Association (NAEA) Convention from March 17-19. The NAEA, a CAA Affiliated Society, is the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators. Similar to CAA’s own Annual Conference, the NAEA Convention provides professional development services including sessions, workshops, events, and activities aimed at improving visual arts instruction in American schools.
The NAEA Convention was held at the McCormick Place Convention Center and the Hilton Chicago Hotel, where CAA will hold its 108th Annual Conference in February of 2020. In the Exhibit Hall, CAA’s booth was visited by hundreds of NAEA members working and practicing across all areas of arts education. CAA staff Tiffany Dugan, director of programs, and Vivian Woo, marketing and development manager, talked with attendees and provided CAA information including institutional and individual membership brochures; the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts and Use Fair Use buttons; and information about the 2017 CAA Annual Conference in New York. Examples of Art Journal and The Art Bulletin were also on hand.
CAA looks forward to reconnecting with NAEA attendees next year in New York. For a limited time only, all NAEA members can receive a $10 discount off membership with CAA. For more information please contact the CAA Membership Department at 212-691-1051, ext. 1.
posted by CAA — December 01, 2015
The undersigned learned societies are deeply concerned about the impact of Texas’s new Campus Carry law on freedom of expression in Texas universities. The law, which was passed earlier this year and takes effect in 2016, allows licensed handgun carriers to bring concealed handguns into buildings on Texas campuses. Our societies are concerned that the Campus Carry law and similar laws in other states introduce serious safety threats on college campuses with a resulting harmful effect on students and professors.
American Academy of Religion
American Anthropological Association
American Antiquarian Society
American Association for the History of Medicine
American Folklore Society
American Historical Association
American Musicological Society
American Philosophical Association
American Political Science Association
American Studies Association
American Society for Aesthetics
American Society for Environmental History
American Sociological Association
Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Association of American Geographers
College Art Association
Latin American Studies Association
Law and Society Association
Medieval Academy of America
Middle East Studies Association
Modern Language Association
National Communication Association
National Council on Public History
Oral History Association
Society for American Music
Society of Architectural Historians
Society of Biblical Literature
Society for Ethnomusicology
World History Association
DeWitt Godfrey, professor of art and art history at Colgate University and president of the CAA Board of Directors, delivered the following presentation during a panel on trigger warnings at the one hundredth anniversary conference of the American Association of University Professors in Washington, DC, on Friday, June 12, 2015. In addition, Linda Downs, CAA executive director, has written a response to the panel.
Trigger Warning Presentation AAUP
First I would like to thank Joan Bertin and Shaden Tageldin for the invitation to the College Art Association to participate in this panel. I would also like to thank CAA’s executive director Linda Downs, Nia Page, Director of Memebership and Michael Goodman, Director of IT for their support. Special thanks to Angela Gibson, Associate Managing Editor of Book Publications at MLA who created and analyzed the survey results.
I feel it’s just safer, teaching in the state of Texas, to put a clear statement on my syllabus at the beginning of the term. That way, I can point to it and say that the individual had been warned.
This is all new to me, but it’s made me think twice about each and every assignment that contains material that might make one student uncomfortable, but that is necessary for me to deliver the course as I believe it should be taught.
Self censorship is the worst form of censorship.
My concern is for the insidious ways that things like trigger warnings induce doubt, fear and intimidation.
During CAA’s Mellon Foundation supported Fair Use project, we learned shocking fact that 50% of scholars and 30% of artists had abandoned projects due to fear and misunderstanding of copyright. The chilling effects of this restrictive culture of permissions on cultural production and production of knowledge cannot be overstated; how many articles, books, exhibitions and dissertations have been lost to a culture that overemphasizes ownership and unfairly removes works from study and distribution?
I would like to place trigger warnings in the context of other ideological assaults on intellectual freedom, the ways that this brings well meaning persons from the left—often feminist left—into an uneasy (and I hope unintended) alliance with an anti-intellectual conservative right; each marshal oppressive forces of fear to stifle debate.
We are in a moment that requires academics, in my opinion, to reenage with the world, and regrettably the debates around education are currently on terms that are no longer our own. There sounds a steady drumbeat of demands that we justify the value and place of the arts and humanities in our institutions and culture; there are moves to shift already eroding funding and support towards alledgedly more practical, more instrumental areas of education and study with more quantitative deliverables of jobs and careers. And the old arguments that the humanities and arts are “good” for you or even the overwhelming evidence that arts and creative communities deliver measuable economic benefits are no longer adequate. These arguments are reactive and reduce what we do to the adjunctive and peripheral, where we cede the terms of the debate.
So what do we do in a context that can only relate to cultural production in terms of the liberal economic model? What are the counter narratives that lead us away from the place of hand wringing and learned helplessness passively awaiting our eventual destruction?
We must reassert the humanities as the space of speculation and imagination that is at the center of human experience and the creation of culture. Art is where cultures and communities work things out, where we come to terms with the unfamiliar and rexamine the familiar; we are the canary in coal mine and we hold our own string, we help define, create and then transgress the boundaries of the normative. We propose frameworks for discernment, we cultivate the value of small and subtle differences, we consider from more than a single perspective, we look closely, we see through ideologies of stark difference. We explore shifting criteria, ideally we teach our students how to construct their own, we help create the capacity for sound judgement, to understand the contingent nature of such judgements, to be comfortable with uncertainty.
A neuroscience colleague at my University put it this way: during a conversation with a group of faculty, one remarked on recent work in his field that seemed to promise, one day, that all of our feelings, emotions and sensations could be reduced to series of well understood electrochemical interactions, the merely mechanical. He replied that in the unlikely event that ever came to pass, we would still have to figure what to do about it, we would still have to decide what it would mean.
Ideological Attempts to proscibe what can and can’t be taught, even those based in good intentions like trigger warnings, put that process in jeopardy.
Very few of us, I suspect, want to deliberately or inadvertantly hurt our students but, as the survey response show, most of us want to challenge them, to provide spaces in which they confront the unfamiliar.
The idea of “safe” space has been transformed so far that the educational mission itself becomes framed as “unsafe.” I write this as a woman who works on difficult material by marginalized groups. I understand discursive inequality and the ways that texts can be experienced as deeply personal. But the “safe” idea has itself become quite dangerous, I think. A student this fall put it best: “I don’t want a safe space to protect me from the world; I want to develop tools to change the world.”
Conceptual art example.
Derived from the context shifting ready-mades of Duchamp, conceptual artists assert that the un-embodied idea alone can be a work of art. As a consequence, anything or nothing can be a work of art. Such realizations can require a wrenching shift in ones entire worldview. One day the cup and saucer on your breakfast table have clear and certain utility and meaning, the next you cannot be so sure, things slide back and forth losing and gaining defining qualities. Imagine your world-view as a completed puzzle, where the many variegated pieces fit neatly into a coherent bounded image. Changing the shape or orientation of one piece, your definition and understanding of what is and isn’t art for example, means that many—maybe even all—the other pieces must be rethought, reshaped and replaced to restore coherence, to reestablish a consistent, workable world-view.
One can understand then where the resistance and rejection of conceptual art’s challenge originates. I do not expect students to necessarily share my reading of art, I do not proselytize, but I do expect that their rejection or acceptance of this mode of art practice be based on an engagement with it, not merely because it doesn’t “fit” their current understanding.
Art often provokes emotional responses ahead of intellectual ones, students—and fellow faulty—are often offended by the challenges presented by the avant-garde, morally outraged.
Conceptual art happened, it cannot be unhappened.
How can we teach such things as war, homophobia, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and violence if we cannot expect students to read such texts or material? How can we educate students about such violence (and thus hope to end such violence) if students refuse to engage with it in the classroom? And what about students who might refuse material that is contrary to other belief systems? For example, might fundamentalist students (of any religion or political philosophy) refuse to read books on sexuality, feminism, or women? In a word, trigger warnings feel like a reasonable issue in terms of supporting student survivors of sexual violence. But what about other kinds of censorship? And painfully, it is the very students who ask for trigger warnings (often open-minded, progressive, well-meaning, feminist students) who dont understand that their feminist request sounds like a conservative one for many progressive teachers.
The appealing dangers of certainty, fanning the conflagration of fear and anxiety.
I have had my share of trauma, but I am not sure if the best way of coping is to have yet another paternalistic/maternalistic authority figure interfering with what may be a trigger or not. Let me be the judge.
I would be very wary of any policy that required instructors to provide trigger warnings, because essentially that would mean the University was regulating certain kinds of speech/imagery and denoting it as deviant or disturbing.
I have colleagues whose experience with students sensitized by such warnings, prepped for PTSD I would say, serves as appalling evidence of the manipulation of young women into self-conscious victim positions and the closing down of discourse. As a life-long feminist and survivor of kidnap and gang-rape myself, who has helped many others cope with the aftermath, I have no evidence that trigger warnings lead to anything but the cultivation of a posture of fear. And the damage to freedom of speech–and simply to education, particularly feminist education—is incalculable.
The shift from Political Correct to Individual Correctness, any one persons trauma is by definition, the greatest of traumas. The right to never be offended.
The “trigger warning”, which forces teachers to change their teaching plans based on calculations about what topics might hurt students’ feelings or make them feel “unsafe”, forces teachers into the work of affirming the narcissism of many privileged students. It also buys into the notion that learning, study and education is a consumer experience, and that the consumers (the students) get to decide whether they like the goods on offer.
How can one predict what experiences students bring so that one can provide the correct warnings? What may seem totally innocent to the faculty member may trigger a reaction from a student. It’s almost as if faculty now have to adapt each course to the number of students enrolled: independent studies would be a more accurate description of a course if accommodations have to be made for everyone.
As someone who teaches predominantly non-white literature that often times critiques white privilege, comments by white students regarding this course material seems to miss the actual point regarding trigger warnings—it refuses to acknowledge (and actually desires to protect) the very privilege that many of the texts critique.
Ideology, like theory, bends and twists all available material into the pursuit of its own agenda, and casts out the rest. Its uses are by definition limited.
We seem to be in a golden age of passive aggression, whereby the speech of others can be controlled or stopped if one feels ‘uncomfortable.’
PTSD is real, accomodations can be made as they already are for other conditions that impact a students participation, performance and evaluation.
I feel that students should assume agency and talk to their professors about any personal needs. To offer blanket trigger warnings sends the message that some triggers are more important than others. I don’t believe it is pedagogically useful to sanitize spaces of learning of anything that could cause discomfort. The “real” world does not come with trigger warnings.
Trigger warnings was the topic addressed on a panel—organized by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), the Modern Language Association (MLA), and CAA—that took place at the one hundredth anniversary conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in Washington, DC, on Friday, June 12, 2015. Joan Bertin, executive director of NCAC, led a group of speakers that included Shaden Tageldin, professor of cultural studies at the University of Minnesota and chair of the MLA’s Women’s Committee, Anita Levy of AAUP, and DeWitt Godfrey, professor of art and art history at Colgate University and CAA president.
Faculty at several universities, including Wellesley College and the University of California, Santa Barbara, have adopted procedures to warn students, on syllabi, of disturbing topics that could trigger posttraumatic stress disorder or other strong reactions to subjects that will be presented in class. Students who may be affected are allowed to miss the class in which the identified work is discussed.
CAA and MLA prepared an informal survey in preparation for this panel and sent it to all members. Bertin summarized the results in her introduction. The survey found that less than 1 percent of the respondents’ institutions have adopted a policy on trigger warnings. However, 23 percent of faculty report that they have voluntarily provided warnings several times or regularly. Student-initiated efforts have instituted trigger warnings represent 7.5 percent. Fifteen percent of faculty indicated that students in their classes have requested warnings in the course they teach. Roughly 12 percent of respondents report that students have complained, either to the instructor or to administrators, about the failure to provide warnings. And 45 percent of respondents who have had first-hand experience with trigger warnings see it as a real threat to academic freedom. Many respondents added comments to the survey regarding their approaches, policies, concerns, and questions about trigger warnings. The panel will be reviewing them and preparing a document that summarizes them to assist other faculty in approaching this issue with their students and administrators.
Godfrey believes that trigger warnings are a form of self-censorship that induces doubt, fear, and intimidation in students as well as faculty. He called on faculty to reassert the humanities as a space of speculation and imagination at the center of human experience and to help students confront the unfamiliar in order to change it. “Art is where cultures and communities work things out,” Godfrey said, “where we come to terms with the unfamiliar and reexamine the familiar.” He sees a shift from the “politically correct” to “individual correctness,” where any one person’s trauma is, by definition, the greatest trauma. The individual now is asserting a right never to be offended or challenged intellectually. This shuts the door on exploration and discussion. There is also a chilling effect on faculty who are increasingly subject to administrative, student, and parental criticism and evaluation. Trigger warnings grew out of the feminist concern for the status of women on campus, but the result is that they find themselves in a place that can be identified as that of the political right. (CAA has published the text of Godfrey’s presentation.)
Tagilden indicated that trigger warnings grew out of the feminist concern for the status of women related to the trauma of rape, and that there should be a clear differentiation between mediated reality and reality in the classroom, so that students can move beyond their own limitations and find outlets and language to deal with traumas instead of normalizing victim appropriation. If students opt out of classes with difficult material, it automatically places the personal on a political plane.
What is the cause of this interest in protecting students from topics that may be difficult or traumatizing to address? Some in the audience saw it as coddling students for fear of criticism being levied on faculty. Some saw it as a question of race and class privilege. Students who have lived protected lives determine the need for treatment of all students. Others see it as a new generation of students isolated and unable to handle personal interaction as described in Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together.
The panel will be reviewing all the comments from respondents to the CAA/MLA survey to cull the most useful approaches that were recommended from the field to address the issue of trigger warnings. These recommendations will be posted by NCAC, CAA, and MLA in the near future.
posted by Christopher Howard — March 24, 2015
In 2010, thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Institute of Fine Art at New York University inaugurated the Mellon Research Initiative. The initiative’s aim was to investigate trends in graduate education and advanced research in art history, archaeology, and conservation. That investigation took place at a time when those fields faced considerable challenges—financial, institutional, and conceptual. Cutbacks in funding from all sources and the concomitant or resulting instrumentalization of university education, which favors economic rationales for degree structures, department sizes, and disciplinary evaluation, presented explicit challenges to the humanistic as opposed to the “hard” sciences. They continue to do so.
The resulting publication, Pathways to the Future: Trends in Graduate Education, was introduced and discussed during three panels at CAA’s Annual Conference in February under the rubric of “Field/Work: Object and Site.” The Pathways report is the result of four years of consultation, undertaken through a series of workshops, conferences, and committees in which our fieldworkers—graduate students, professors, publishers, and university administrators, among others—were asked about the directions being taken in art history, archaeology, and conservation. These participants considered the resources those fields require to support graduate training and research; how those resources are most meaningfully allocated; and, crucially, how learning is best delivered in curriculum and training programs.
The public workshops and conferences (now available on the institute’s video archive) were accompanied by the work of three committees convened to pose relevant questions and investigate different aspects of our practices as researchers and educators. Unified in aim, the review committees largely operated independently. They shaped their work according to concerns and protocols specific to each field. The form of their reporting varies accordingly. All three committees considered both present conditions and future possibilities.
The examination of the state of our subjects found them to be generally robust. If anything they are stronger than ever before, existing as they do in today’s image-based environment and able to promote critical seeing along with critical thinking. They are inherently interdisciplinary and equally international or global in their inquiry and potential impact. They have direct relation to material understanding, in the recovery and safeguarding of our physical heritage, in interpreting its present condition, and in forecasting future manifestations.
Although based on wide consultation and meticulous deliberation, this report is intended to contribute to vital and ongoing conversations about the disciplines of art history, archaeology, and conservation, about their professional and intellectual situation, and about strengths, weaknesses, and strategies. Their thoughts on those matters are contained in this document, which is available on the institute’s website for downloading and circulating. The institute hopes this document generates discussion and stimulates further thoughts on the topics it raises and regarding training and research in art history, archaeology, and conservation.
The institute is profoundly grateful to the Mellon Foundation for its generous sponsorship, and to all those who participated in the initiative.
posted by Christopher Howard — February 23, 2015
Teaching the History of Modern Design: The Canon and Beyond
NEH Summer Institute
Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
July 6–July 31, 2015
“Teaching the History of Modern Design: The Canon and Beyond” is an exciting four-week NEH Summer Institute that will prepare twenty-five college faculty from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to meet the increasing demand for, as well as interest in, courses on modern design history. In-depth seminars will focus upon three interdependent thematic units: (1) taste and popular culture; (2) women as consumers and producers of design; and (3) political and global interpretations of design after World War II.
The director’s and visiting scholars’ complementary approaches to “The Canon and Beyond” will build upon and reinforce participants’ familiarity with standard material, while simultaneously introducing new material and critical perspectives. Field trips to regional museums and collections such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Hagley Museum in Delaware will provide participants direct experience with objects and suggest ways to use local collections in their own teaching. Group presentations by our participants will take place during the final week of the institute.
Application deadline: March 2, 2015
Notification date: March 30, 2015
Visiting scholars: Regina Lee Blaszczyk, University of Leeds, England; Maria Elena Buszek, University of Colorado, Denver; Catharine Rossi, Kingston University, England; Sarah Teasley, Royal College of Art, London; and Vladimir Kulic, Florida Atlantic University.
Project faculty: Carma R. Gorman, University of Texas at Austin
Institute director: David Raizman, Drexel University