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CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Popular Domestic Programs Face Ax under First Trump Budget

The White House budget office has drafted a hit list of programs that President Trump could eliminate to trim domestic spending, including longstanding conservative targets like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps, and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Can Only Rich Kids Afford to Work in the Art World?

Two years ago, Naiomy Guerrero left her job in the art world. She hasn’t lost her passion for art and still blogs about it at GalleryGirl.nyc, but as the daughter of two immigrant parents she chose financial stability. Guerrero now works as a financial aid counselor, earning over 50 percent more than she did at her most recent art-related job. (Read more from Artsy.)

Habitat: Moonlighting—Artists’ Side Jobs

Most artists, unless they are selling a lot of work, need a good side job. For some, it’s just a way to pay the rent; for others, it’s a parallel passion. But whether they consider it a temporary solution or a career, a boon to their art or something entirely separate from it, the artists ARTnews interviewed all seem to find satisfaction in what they do for money. (Read more from ARTnews.)

“Our Women Have Always Carved”

On the West Coast, in the rich and diverse world of First Nations art, the master carvers responsible for the totem poles and myriad other monumental works are usually men. There are exceptions. And two exceptional women—trailblazing female First Nations artists who have carved their way into Canadian cultural history—are getting their due in two new exhibitions. (Read more from the Globe and Mail.)

The Red of Painters

For the most part, painters have always loved red, from the Paleolithic period to the most contemporary. Red’s palette offers a variety of shades and favors more diverse and subtle chromatic play than any other color. In red, artists found a means to construct pictorial space, distinguish areas and planes, create accents, produce effects of rhythm and movement, and highlight one figure or another. (Read more from the Paris Review.)

Academic Ethics: Rethinking the Justification of Tenure

Tenure for professors has been under pressure, and even the subject of outright attacks, for a long time. But the pace of the assault has accelerated lately, and there is no more significant canary in the coal mine than events in Wisconsin over the past two years. (Read more from Vitae.)

The Changing Monograph Market

The market for original humanities monographs may be shrinking, according to a report on the output of university presses. After remaining stable from 2009 to 2011, the number of original works in the humanities published by university presses fell both in 2012 and 2013, according to estimates from the two publishing consultants who wrote the report. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

An Activity That Promotes Engagement with Required Readings, Even in Large Classes

Encouraging students to complete the course readings is an age-old problem. On the first day of class, I often say something like this to my students: “Nothing floats my boat more than great discussion. Nothing promotes great discussion like having completed the readings. And nothing promotes completing the readings like having points attached to it.” (Read more from Faculty Focus.)



Filed under: CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Art under Threat in 2016: Presenting the Figures

Freemuse registered 1,028 attacks on artists and violations of their rights in 2016 across 78 countries, continuing a worrying trend of artistic freedom increasingly coming under threat. The number of cases registered in 2016 more than doubled the amount in 2015, increasing by 119 percent, rising from 469 attacks. (Read more from Freemuse.)

What You Need to Know about Hate Speech and Free Speech

Is there any way to curb speech if it discriminates against people’s identity, like race? And when does speech become punishable under the law? Here’s what you need to know about the freedom of speech and dealing with hate speech in the current political climate. (Read more from Teen Vogue.)

We Don’t Pay Visual Artists Properly—That Needs to Change

Jane is a typical artist trying to build and maintain her career. She has had reasonable success with her art thus far but needs to subsidize her income by taking on work as a graphic designer. Now she has decided to return to art school to get university qualifications and commit fully to her professional artistic practice. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Reports of the Death of Religious Art Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

When written in the same sentence, the terms “religion” and “art” tend to turn the contemporary secularized gaze back in time to Renaissance imagery. Those old, redolent, often pious pictures of Christ Child and Madonna are pleasing to look at, but these days their principal function is to confirm how religious art existed in ages past. Present-day artists can’t possibly be interested in that anymore. (Read more from the Los Angeles Review of Books.)

The Prestige Gap

Women earn 60 percent of baccalaureate degrees and 46 percent of doctoral degrees, excluding professional programs, according to 2015 data from the National Science Foundation, yet they’re still underrepresented in many disciplines. Why? A new study points to segregation by gender based on field of study and what it calls program prestige. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

The Importance of Female Friendship in Graduate School

Sometime in high school, when I was sixteen, living in the suburbs, and hopelessly devoted with the latest music, I was asked whether I prefer male or female singers. As I was answering—something about how men sang more interesting songs—it dawned on me: How many female-led bands had I heard? When was the last time a radio station played a song from an all-female band? (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Metropolitan Museum Puts 375,000 Public-Domain Images in Creative Commons

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has placed 375,000 images of public-domain works in the Creative Commons. This major move by one of the world’s most important museums means that users can now access pictures of many of the Met’s holdings on Wikimedia, and that these images are now subject to free use, with no copyright restrictions. (Read more from ARTnews.)

The Value of Copyright: A Publisher’s Perspective

There is no one view of copyright that fits all publishers. The publisher of a poetry magazine will likely feel differently about aspects of copyright when compared to, say, the publisher of your local phone book. Indeed, even within scholarly publishing there is a range of attitudes toward copyright. (Read more from the Scholarly Kitchen.)



Filed under: CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

MoMA Installs Works by Artists from Countries Targeted by Trump’s Travel Ban

In response to President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries, the Museum of Modern Art has replaced works in its permanent-collection galleries with eight by artists from the targeted nations. The rehang was instigated and executed by staff who wanted to react to unsettling political circumstances. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)

The Battle to Save America’s Arts Endowment from Trump’s Cuts

The day before Donald Trump was installed as president, details of his administration’s plans for cuts to government spending came to light. Seemingly drawn from a blueprint published by the Heritage Foundation, the plans feature deep cuts to many vital federal programs, including the elimination of the NEA. (Read more from Apollo.)

What We Can Learn from the Brief Period When the Government Employed Artists

That the arts would be funded significantly by the federal government may raise an eyebrow today. But working under a subdivision of the Works Progress Administration known as the Federal Art Project, artists such as Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner helped the country recover from the Great Depression, as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. (Read more from Artsy.)

State Spending on Higher Ed Continues Upward Trend

For the fourth year in a row, state spending on higher education is up nationwide. The annual “Grapevine” survey, conducted by the State Higher Education Executive Officers and the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University, shows a 3.4-percent average nationwide increase in spending over the 2016 fiscal year, although that figure could be changed by legislation pending in Illinois. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

The Met: A Great Museum in Decline?

The bad news had been building for months at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Even as crowds poured into shows on Hellenistic kingdoms and high-tech fashion, the museum’s deficit was approaching $40 million and had forced the buyout or layoff of some ninety employees. An expansion into a satellite building cost millions of dollars more than expected. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Museums Celebrate the Decriminalization of Homosexuality

Museums across the UK are preparing exhibitions to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, the legislation that partially decriminalized male homosexuality in England and Wales in 1967. In London, the National Portrait Gallery will present a special display on the city’s gay scene in the 1980s, while the first major exhibition dedicated to queer British art will open at Tate Britain. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Nobody Is Normal

While medical researchers might miss such fine points, philosophers of medicine have been parsing the nuances and striving to define “normal” for years. One thought experiment asks us to consider variations on the ends of the spectrum that we would not consider pathological: having green eyes, being color-blind, being extremely tall or short, having photographic memory, or being a supertaster. (Read more from Aeon.)

Brad Troemel, the Troll of Internet Art

Brad Troemel’s art plays with a central paradox of the internet: the technology that was supposed to liberate us from the dreary real world has inspired a whole new set of anxieties. For the growing number of artists who use the internet to distribute their work, a key problem has become how to stand out amid a torrent of information. (Read more from the New Yorker.)



Filed under: CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

What You Need to Know about Colleges and the Immigration Ban

President Trump’s executive order that bars all refugees from entering the US, as well as citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries, prompted colleges to frantically start trying to determine what it meant for them. Who is affected? (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Karen Finley: Donald Trump Owes His Wealth to Arts and Culture

Donald Trump is reportedly considering stripping the budgets for the NEA, the NEH, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This would have devastating consequences for our society; for the many economies connected to promoting cultural heritage, innovation, and production; and to the many municipalities and neighborhoods that depend on cultural institutions for survival. We might ask how the arts have personally enriched the president. (Read more from Time.)

How the NEA’s Budget Nearly Got Slashed in the Early ’90s

Recent reports indicate that the Trump administration has plans to potentially eliminate the NEA and NEH. For many, the notion has recalled events that happened between 1989 and 1991, when the NEA faced backlash from conservative politicians who were concerned that it was funding work by liberally minded artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Dread Scott, and Andres Serrano. (Read more from ARTnews.)

Those Pink Hats at the Women’s March Can Teach Us Something about Political Art

At Saturday’s supermarch, the sight of a vast sea of pink knit hats seemed almost magical. They were everywhere—hundreds of thousands of handmade caps, flooding the National Mall as far as the eye could see. They were immediately recognized as a natural rejoinder to Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again cap. (Read more from Artnet News.)

75 Arrested in European Crackdown on Art Trafficking

The European police have arrested seventy-five people and recovered about 3,500 stolen archaeological artifacts and other artworks as part of the dismantling of an international network of art traffickers. The criminal network handled artworks looted from war-stricken countries, as well as works stolen from museums and other sites. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Are Artists’ Estates Too Protective of Artists’ Reputations?

The job of managing an artist’s reputation is now big business, with many estates operating along increasingly professional lines. How far should they seek to control public perceptions of an artist’s life and work? (Read more from Apollo Magazine.)

Dear Scholars, Delete Your Account at Academia.edu

As privatized platforms like Academia.edu look to monetize scholarly writing even further, researchers, scientists, and academics across the globe must now consider alternatives to proprietary companies that aim to profit from our writing and offer little transparency as to how our work will be used in the future. (Read more from Forbes.)

The Job-Market Moment of Digital Humanities

Digital humanities present new ways to approach the work of humanities scholarship, and they’ve already delivered not just new results but new kinds of results. They have also become integrated into the academic job market. Will expertise in digital humanities get graduate students the academic jobs that so many of them seek? (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)



Filed under: CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Does Private Funding Threaten Museums’ Public Missions?

With an incoming presidential cabinet threatening to slash public spending, placing additional strain on institutions, one might well ask: How will the next generation of museums be funded? What changes in museum funding models are already taking place, both in the US and elsewhere? (Read more from Artsy.)

Some Advice on Building Conference Panels

Some of the best panels I’ve created have been with very senior scholars. Even if you are a junior scholar, you can bet that if your panel is well assembled and you craft your approach email with kindness and respect, it’s very likely that invited senior scholars may say yes. (Read more from Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD.)

Study on Arts Graduates Provides Continuing Evidence on the Value of an Arts Degree

A recent study provides new evidence that individuals with degrees in the arts from North American institutions are extremely satisfied with their arts education, with no substantive changes across income levels and employment status. The report analyzes data from more than 35,000 arts alumni of all ages who responded to a fall 2015 survey. (Read more from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project.)

Against the Design Thinking Meeting

The people who speak the language of design thinking are the cool kids. Not just the people with the awesome glasses and the black clothing. These are the people who have those awesome jobs with “innovation” or “disruption” on their business cards. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Artists Are Throwing Wrenches into the Art World’s Works

Even as one visible portion of the art world becomes ever more soaked in money, artists are picking up the ideas of first- and second-generation institutional critique and adapting them to the needs of the present. With increasing frequency, they are investigating, tweaking, and even striking out against the operation of museums, galleries, and the market as an integral part of their larger practices. (Read more from ARTnews.)

The Institution as User: Museums on Social Media

How does a museum talk? Its voice lives in wall texts, whether they deliver art history or gently admonish against touching work or using flash photography. Its tone has to be serious enough to honor the histories it was built to protect, and to convince visitors that the twenty dollars they paid to get in was well spent. (Read more from Art in America.)

Diversity in the Open-Access Movement, Part 1: Differing Definitions

Not only is there wide disagreement as to what “freely available” in open access really means, but not everyone in the movement even agrees that all scholarship must be freely available, or how quickly it should be made freely available, or what mechanisms are appropriate for making it that way. Since the fact of this ideological diversity doesn’t seem to be self-evident, it might be helpful to lay out some evidence for it here. (Read more from the Scholarly Kitchen.)

Strengthening Networks, Sparking Change: Museums and Libraries as Community Catalysts

A new report from the Institute of Museum and Library Services includes case studies and a discussion of conceptual frameworks that can guide libraries, archives, and museums that seek to spark catalytic change in their communities. (Read more from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.)



Filed under: CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Controversial Capitol Painting by Former St. Louis Student Taken Down

The painting by a former St. Louis high school student was removed over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Rep. Dave Reichert, who petitioned its removal, said it would be taken down by the Architect of the Capitol’s office, which ultimately determines the art that hangs on the walls of the congressional art competition. On Tuesday morning, not only was the painting gone, but the placard describing it was removed, too. (Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.)

What’s Missing in the Teaching of Islam

In high school history books, there is little mention of the intertwined histories of Europe, Asia, and Africa in the middle ages and the Renaissance. There is even less mention of the flowering of art, literature, and architecture during this time. (Read more from the Conversation.)

Keeping God Out of the Gallery

“My work has proven to be difficult to place in commercial art galleries,” said the painter Edward Knippers. Well, we’ve heard that before. Plenty of artists say the problem isn’t the quality of their work but the gallery owner’s narrow-mindedness or something to that effect. But Knippers, a figurative painter of biblical subjects, said the real problem is what he chooses to paint: religious figures. (Read more from the Observer.)

Learning from Decolonize This Place

“You can’t talk about indigenous struggle without indigenous people involved,” said the artist, activist, and MTL+ cofounder Amin Husain. He was explaining a core principle of Decolonize This Place, a three-month residency that brought together multiple movements at the New York nonprofit Artists Space for art making, organizing, and activism, all based around direct actions targeting five issues: Free Palestine, Indigenous Struggle, Black Liberation, Global Wage Workers, and de-gentrification. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)

Citizenship, the Body, and the Ethics of Exposure

We live in a society that relishes exposure—see nude photo leaks, the Kardashians, and diaries and private correspondence cloaked with the pretense of literary or political interest—and that does not value privacy equally for all. On top of the inequity, unmediated exposure does not exist. There is always an implicit or explicit narrative being constructed in the act of baring. (Read more from Art Practical.)

Art Museums by the Numbers 2016

First released in 2014, Art Museums by the Numbers is based on aggregated data drawn from AAMD’s member survey and tracks changes over time. Comparisons between 2014, 2015, and 2016 data show little fluctuation, indicating continued stability in the field of art museums. (Read more from the Association of Art Museum Directors.)

Why Art History Might Be the Most Important Subject You Could Study Today

We Americans tend to think of the British as infinitely more refined and cultivated than we are, but England almost eliminated art history as a field of study for high school students. But after much protest from the liberal intellectual establishment, art history was “saved” and will stay on British curricula. If the cultured British nearly did away with art history, then what hope have we Americans? (Read more from Salon.)

The Problem of Predatory Journals: Fake Academia Joins Fake News

We’ve heard all about fakes this year: fake scandals, fake food, fake news. Now fraud emerges from an unexpected corner: academia—or rather, its counterfeit. Fraudulent academic groups have been soliciting papers from researchers for conferences and journals, but do not adhere to publication standards like peer review; instead, they accept papers unquestioningly and charge authors enormous fees. (Read more from Nonprofit Quarterly.)



Filed under: CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

How to Start a Gallery in Your Apartment

As commercial real estate balloons in cities like New York and London, and art galleries professionalize, limiting the freedoms artists are given within their spaces, artists, art professionals, and collectors have begun to make use of living space—be it an entire apartment, a guest bedroom, or even a walk-in closet—to put on the shows they want to see. (Read more from Artsy.)

Bad Times Make Great Art: Worry Less about the Art and More about the Artists

On election night a murmur started just as the last gasp faded, “Well at least we can expect some great art.” It didn’t take long for the fatalistic statement to acquire a predictive tone, eventually a waft of desperation was detectable and, ultimately, shrill fiat. The art of protest is provocative, no question. It’s often brave, usually fierce, sometimes compelling, and occasionally inspirational. (Read more from Salon.)

In the Aftermath of Oakland’s Tragedy, How Museums Can Better Serve Local Arts and DIY Venues

Museums and art institutions have largely remained distant from the Ghost Ship incident in Oakland. This perpetuates the assumption that warehouse spaces are fringe—and even irrelevant—to the formal art world. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. (Read more from Smithsonian Magazine.)

The Ten Technologies Defining Art Right Now

Ways of making and seeing, both new and old, have defined the art in 2016 every bit as much as the hot topics under exploration. Artnet News looks back at a year of exhibitions, biennials, and art fairs to identify the ten practices that stood out as significant in helping expand the definition of what art can be, as well as dying technologies that are revisited before becoming obsolete. (Read more from Artnet News.)

Layering and Mixing with Iridescent and Interference Acrylic Paints

We’ve all seen iridescent and interference effects when viewing soap bubbles, oil slicks, flower petals, bird feathers, and more. They are common in the natural world. If they are somewhat less common in artwork, it might simply be that they still represent new and unexplored possibilities for most people, even after being part of the artists’ palette for many decades at this point. (Read more from Just Paint.)

How Can We Minimize Grade Changes?

One of the most consequential lessons I learned last semester happened after it was over. Five days after the semester ended, the emails started coming in. I’m sure you get them too: the earnest and pleading requests (sometimes polite, sometimes not) for better grades. I responded with my general policy (I only change grades if I’ve made a mistake; I round to the nearest whole number), and that seemed to satisfy most students. But one student was a tougher nut to crack. (Read more from Vitae.)

An Idiosyncratic Timeline of “Attempts to Fix the Art World”

The term “the artworld” itself seems to date only to 1964, but this timeline goes all the way back to 1793, when the revolutionary regime in France turned a certain royal palace in Paris into a public museum. The history here is selective, to be sure, but half the fun of these things is working up righteous high dudgeon over what’s been included and excluded. (Read more from ARTnews.)

How Do We Make American Museums Multilingual?

Which languages should institutions prioritize? Should choices be based on current patrons or on visitors they’d like to reach? How fully should the selected languages be incorporated into the museum: Wall text? Audio? Catalogues? Tours? Ancillary programming? Outreach? (Read more from Hyperallergic.)



Filed under: CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Everything We Know about Whether and How the Arts Improve Lives

The platitudes are on the lips of every arts supporter, ready to be recalled at the first sign of a public hearing or potential funding cut. “The arts are essential—a necessity, not a luxury.” “The arts help kids learn.” “The arts are the foundation of the knowledge economy.” It feels good to say those things, but are they true? (Read more from Createquity.)

Networking the Humanities through Open Access, Open Source, and Not for Profit

Last month the Modern Language Association, in partnership with three other learned societies, launched the beta version of the expanded and now interdisciplinary Humanities Commons—a nonprofit network where humanities scholars can share their work in a social, open-access repository, discuss ideas, collaborate on common interests, and store research and teaching materials. (Read more from the Scholarly Kitchen.)

Eleven All-Important Things to Do before Leaving Art School

Graduating from art school means transitioning from the comfort of campus-provided studio space, access to production facilities, and a climate of constant feedback, criticism, and support to, well, having zero of those things. Abstaining from these perks cold-turkey can feel like quite the plunge—but luckily you can do a few things during your last semester to prepare for entering the “real world” as an artist. (Read more from Artspace Magazine.)

An Audit Nightmare Turned Artist Victory

American businesses sometimes lose money. Those losses create a tax shelter for other income. While the tax code explicitly provides this incentive for businesses—to encourage investment for growth and to allow for unpredictable events—losses that go on for too long tend to draw IRS scrutiny. The artist Susan Crile spent eight years in tax court defending her right to take losses. (Read more from Art F City.)

We Need a New Kind of Feminist Art

A quote that the Brooklyn Museum curator Catherine Morris often turns to is one by the artist and writer Emily Roysdon. “We are not protesting what we don’t want,” Roysdon once said about her queer activism, “we are performing what we want.” The idea of creating the world you want to live in, on a microcosmic level, is one that’s central to feminist theory, the history and methodology of which is closely intertwined with queer and civil-rights activism. (Read more from Artsy.)

The Gulf Art War

In 2005, in the gilded lobby of the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi, the crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan described his vision for Saadiyat Island, a $27 billion development not far from the city’s downtown. Saadiyat, which Emiratis refer to as “the island of happiness,” would include luxury hotels, Marbella-style villas, and a boutique shopping quarter. Most important was a vast cultural district, and a new Guggenheim was to be a centerpiece of this effort. (Read more from the New Yorker.)

A Digital Billboard in Chicago Raises Questions about Art in the Public Sphere

Flashing brightly for a few seconds at a time, the black-and-white mugshot of an unnamed African American male loomed against the Chicago skyline, interrupting the mundane ads—for sandwiches, lawyers, Hondas—that shared space on the same digital billboard. I only just glimpsed it, peering from an overpass, but the haunting image has lingered with me ever since. (Read more from ARTnews.)

Is the Traditional Art Gallery Dead?

For the past several months, Artspace’s editors have persistently investigated the novel challenges and opportunities that the twenty-first century holds for the venerable brick-and-mortar gallery system, which has been shaken by both the shifting market and the disruptive power of the internet. Along the way, we’ve spoken at length to artists, dealers, advisors, and art-fair directors in an effort to take the pulse of the industry. (Read more from Artspace Magazine.)



Filed under: CAA News

Top News in 2016 from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


As 2016 comes to a close, CAA would like to wish a safe and happy holiday season to its members, subscribers, partners, and other professionals in the visual arts. As we reflect on the past twelve months, the association would like to offer readers a look at the most accessed articles in the weekly CAA News email from the past year.

I Survived My First Year on the Tenure Track, but I’m Ready to Bail!

Now that I’ve survived my first year in a tenure-track position at a small liberal-arts college, all I want to do is curl up in a ball. A nonacademic position is opening up in my hometown. If I got the job, I’d still have adjunct faculty status and be able to supervise grad students. I’d also probably get a 30- to 50-percent salary increase. (Read more from Vitae.)

Advice for the Newly Tenured

I would love to share with you the three biggest mistakes that I observe newly tenured faculty members make. If you know what those mistakes are, then you are not only far less likely to make them, but you also have the opportunity to experiment with new ways of thinking and working that will help you to truly enjoy your tenured status. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

How Many Hours a Week Should Academics Work?

How many hours do you work in a week? Many academics feel overworked and exhausted by their jobs. But there is little evidence that long hours lead to better results, while some research suggests that they may even be counterproductive. (Read more from Times Higher Education.)

The Disappearing Humanities Jobs

The arrival of annual reports on the job market in various humanities fields this year left many graduate students depressed about their prospects and professors worried about the futures of their disciplines. This week, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences released several new collections of data that show that these declines, part of a continuing pattern, are far more dramatic when viewed over a longer time frame. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Publish or Be Damned

The London office of Yale University Press has been a leading publisher of art history in the English language. When we heard of a new book planned by a leading scholar in the field, we expected to learn that Yale had pledged to publish it. When a bright graduate finished his or her dissertation, we hoped that Yale would publish it. (Read more from the Burlington Magazine.)

Racially Charged St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum Show Sparks Outrage

Racially charged works at a Contemporary Art Museum in Saint Louis exhibition have some calling for boycotts and the resignation of the museum’s chief curator. The museum has opted to build walls around the controversial pieces of art. The show will remain up and visitors will have access to all of the work. (Read more from Fox 2 News.)

Learning from My Teaching Mistakes

As a professional failed academic, I get asked if my decisions in graduate school were to blame for my failures. The answer is, of course, yes and no. Similar to anyone else with a PhD who isn’t delusional or lying, my relationship with my doctorate contains multitudes of defeats. And now, six years after I finished, I’ve got some perspective on both what I screwed up and what I didn’t. (Read more from Vitae.)

Syllabus Adjunct Clause

Here is a sample adjunct clause that can be inserted into any syllabus for courses taught by temporary faculty. Please keep in mind that since situations differ from school to school—and even from department to department—the following may not be universally applicable as written. Therefore, if you decide to use it, make the necessary changes to accurately reflect your own situation. (Read more from School of Doubt.)

When Students Won’t Do the Reading

Is there a more common lament among college instructors than “Why won’t students just do the reading?” It’s an important and difficult question. In my experience, many students understand, at least in the abstract, that the reading is important. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Why You Weren’t Picked

There are two major downsides to not getting that tenure-track job you applied for. The second one is the less obvious but may be the more pernicious in the long run: no one will tell you why you weren’t chosen. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Why Most Academics Will Always Be Bad Writers

For at least a generation, academics have elaborately and publicly denounced the ponderous pedantry of academic prose. So why haven’t these ponderous pedants improved, already? The critics would say the ponderous pedants are doing it on purpose. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Balancing the Books at Yale University Press in London

A letter signed by over 290 academics, curators, and writers expressed a “sense of shock at the restructuring of Yale University Press in London, particularly as it affects the renowned art books department.” Having learned that two commissioning editors were to be made redundant, the signatories asked for reassurance about Yale’s commitment to scholarly art publishing and for the rationale for the changes. (Read more from Apollo.)

How to Be an Unprofessional Artist

No one likes being called an amateur, a dilettante, a dabbler. “Unprofessional” is an easy insult. The professional always makes the right moves, knows the right thing to say, the right name to check. Controlled and measured, the professional never sleeps with the wrong person or drinks too much at the party. (Read more from Momus.)

Make No Mistake, Art History Is a Hard Subject. What’s Soft Is the Decision to Scrap It

In the UK, art history A-level is to be scrapped in 2018. The decision taken by the exam board AQA seems related to the Conservative government’s policy of ranking subjects by perceived relative difficulty, using an analogy of “soft” and “hard” that may be designed to belittle students and teachers who have apparently taken the easy way out. (Read more from Apollo.)

Essential PhD Tips: Ten Articles All Doctoral Students Should Read

If you’re still deciding whether to study for a doctorate, or even if you’re nearing the end of your PhD and are thinking about your next steps, we’ve selected ten articles that you really should take a look at. They cover everything from selecting your topic to securing a top job when your years of hard graft come to an end. (Read more from Times Higher Education.)

How to Become a Curator

Start out as an artist instead. In school, you’re always saddled with organizing the group shows, buying the beer, placating fellow artists’ fears, making the invitations, composing the checklist, finding the funding, contacting the press, inviting the audience. Your entire art practice becomes a smudgy line between curating and art, and you grow to feel strange and unnecessary. (Read more from Momus.)

Donald Trump, Taste, and the Cultural Elite

It’s said that taste defines us. The music I like lets you know, to some degree, what kind of person I am. Yet though this year’s presidential election has raised issues of racism, sexism, and classism, not much has been said about taste, and the role it may or may not have played in getting Donald Trump to the White House. (Read more from the Washington Post.)

Black Arts Community Expresses Outrage with Kelley Walker

“This is a mess, and I’m uncomfortable,” said Kat Reynolds as she spoke before the capacity crowd at the Contemporary Art Museum on September 22. The panel of artists and educators—who spoke during the Critical Conversations talk presented by Critical Mass for the Visual Arts—didn’t hold back from voicing their disdain about the art that hung in the very space where the discussion was taking place. (Read more from the St. Louis American.)

What Learning People Really Think about Lecturing

Is there really a war on lecturing going on across higher education? Do learning professionals want to kill the lecture? Read Christine Gross-Loh’s “Should Colleges Really Eliminate the College Lecture?” and you would be forgiven in thinking that there is and that we do. The problem is that her description of the current climate bears little resemblance to reality. (Read more from Inside Higher Education.)

Gallery Defends Kelley Walker, Artist under Fire in St. Louis Exhibit

The New York City–based gallery representing the artist Kelley Walker has responded to the controversy surrounding a racially charged exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in Saint Louis, but with a statement that raises more questions than it answers. (Read more from Riverfront Times.)

Should Colleges Really Eliminate the College Lecture?

Despite the increased emphasis in recent years on improving professors’ teaching skills, such training often focuses on incorporating technology or flipping the classroom, rather than on how to give a traditional college lecture. It’s also in part why the lecture—a mainstay of any introductory undergraduate course—is endangered. (Read more from the Atlantic.)

What Happens When a Museum Closes?

Four recently dissolved cultural institutions—the Museum of Biblical Art in New York, the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art and Science in California, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Higgins Armory Museum in Massachusetts—each offer a lesson in how to weather the complex process of closing a museum. (Read more from Artsy.)

Artiquette: Ten Mistakes Not to Make While Promoting Your Art

How do you make it in the art world? It’s a magical formula that involves, talent, drive, grit, and the ability to promote oneself. Unfortunately, talking up your own artwork, projects, and ideas can be a delicate balancing act. To help you walk that line, Artnet News has rounded up a list of mistakes to avoid in self-promotion. (Read more from Artnet News.)

Six Things to Keep in Mind When Applying for Art Grants

With governments cutting funding for the arts, it is getting harder for artists and art institutions to obtain art grants, fellowships, or scholarships. The professional grant writer Ethan Haymovitz has put together a list of things to keep in mind when writing your application. (Read more from Art Report.)

Getting beyond the Anecdote: Research and Art-History Pedagogy

Pedagogical innovations abound in art-history classrooms. National and regional conferences increasingly feature panels of inspirational examples and case studies. These sessions are well attended by instructors eager for new, proven ideas to improve their teaching. The speakers assure this audience of improved student engagement and efficacy at achieving learning outcomes with this or that innovation. But how can they prove it? (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

This Art Historian Teaches FBI Agents and Surgeons How to See

Amy Herman teaches people how to see. Her tools of choice are famous artworks from major art institutions all over the world. Her typical pupils? Cops, FBI officers, medical students, and first responders. Herman teaches a class that helps people fine-tune their observational skills—which often prove critical in solving a crime or conducting open-heart surgery. (Read more from Fast Company.)

Five Strategies Successful Artists Follow to Thrive in Their Careers

As a gallery owner, I’ve been particularly interested in watching the careers of artists who have built strong sales of their work. These artists are able to generate sales that allow them to devote all of their time to their art. They have found ways to make a successful living while at the same time pursuing their passion. (Read more from Red Dot Blog.)

Five Time-Saving Strategies for the Flipped Classroom

I often hear comments like “The flipped classroom takes too much time,” “I don’t have time to devise so many new teaching strategies,” “It takes too much time to record and edit videos,” and “I don’t have time to cover everything on the syllabus.” I also hear “I tried to flip my class, but it was exhausting; so I quit.” If these comments sound familiar, it might be helpful to create margins in your flipped classroom. (Read more from Faculty Focus.)

How Do I Get My Foot in the Art World?

I’m a recent grad and want to learn more about the art world, so hopefully, one day, I can work in the arts. I didn’t major in art, but I took several art history and art classes and really loved them. I also love going to galleries and museums. Could you give me some suggestions on how to learn more? (Read more from Burnaway.)

Help Desk: Getting Paid for Curatorial Work

I’m a professional curator with over a decade of experience, mostly as a salaried professional. I’d like to do more freelance work, but curators seem to get paid nothing, absurdly little, or astronomical sums. How can I actually get paid for the work I do? (Read more from Daily Serving.)

Museums Are Keeping a Ton of the World’s Most Famous Art Locked Away in Storage

Most of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work is in storage. Nearly half of Pablo Picasso’s oil paintings are put away. Not a single Egon Schiele drawing is on display. Since the advent of public galleries in the seventeenth century, museums have amassed huge collections of art for society’s benefit. But just a tiny fraction of that art is actually open for people to view and enjoy. (Read more from Quartz.)

University of Chicago Strikes Back against Campus Political Correctness

The anodyne welcome letter to incoming freshmen is a college staple, but the University of Chicago took a different approach: it sent new students a blunt statement opposing some hallmarks of campus political correctness, drawing thousands of impassioned responses, for and against, as it caromed around cyberspace. (Read more from the New York Times.)

On Not Reading

The activity of nonreading is something that scholars rarely discuss. When they—or others whose identities are bound up with books—do so, the discussions tend to have a shamefaced quality. Blame “cultural capital”—the sense of superiority associated with laying claim to books that mark one’s high social status. (Read more from the Chronicle Review.)

Medieval Scots Used Art the Way We Use Social Media

Medieval Scots once gave each other postcard-sized artworks to forge social bonds, in the same way we post pictures on social media today, according to new research. The “postcards on parchment”—whose painted images included patron saints, the Virgin Mary and child, and highly decorated lettering—revealed status, allegiances, and values among the wealthy classes in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. (Read more from the Scotsman.)



Filed under: CAA News

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard


Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Why Does the Art World Love Overlooked Artists?

The prices of work by young artists escalate so quickly that it’s difficult to buy it continuously throughout their career. The same is true for public museums, which usually rely on either (shrinking) public funds or committees whose decision-making processes will always take longer than those of deeper-pocketed private museums. One fruitful solution to this dilemma is the focus on overlooked historical artists. (Read more from Artnet News.) 

The Soft Power of Art

Harvard professor Joseph Nye coined the term “soft power” to describe the ability of a nation to influence others with its values and culture. In the mid-twentieth century, the CIA used American modern art as a weapon in the cold war. The legacy of this effort can be found in a popular discourse of contemporary art that rarely goes beyond how much art sells for. (Read more from Hyperallergic.) 

Saving Art from Looting and Destruction Is a Military Matter

The British Army recently announced that it would recruit fifteen to twenty new officers with specializations in art, archaeology, and antiquities to be deployed in the field, just behind the front lines, to help identify, protect, and track art and antiquities that are in danger of being damaged, looted, or destroyed. (Read more from Salon.)

New Law Will Aid the Recovery of Nazi-Looted Art

In a rare act of bipartisanship, Congress unanimously passed a bill geared toward helping Holocaust survivors and their families reclaim art looted by the Nazis. Approved by both the House and Senate, the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016 now heads to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it into law. (Read more from Artsy.)

An Artistic Discovery Makes a Curator’s Heart Pound

It’s an auctioneer’s jackpot dream. A man walks in off the street, opens a portfolio of drawings, and there, mixed in with the jumble of routine low-value items, is a long-lost work by Leonardo da Vinci. That is what happened to Thaddée Prate, director of old-master pictures at the Tajan auction house in Paris. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Big Data, Big Challenges

The rise of big data has been a tremendous boon to researchers, but it has also revealed shortcomings in how higher education collects and analyzes data and judges the impact of research on human subjects. Speakers during the annual meeting of the Council of Graduate Schools presented that argument during a session on the ethical implications of big data-driven research. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Five Ways to Make Online Classrooms Interactive

The convenience and flexibility of the online learning environment allow learners to develop new skills and further their education, regardless of where they live. Yet for all of its benefits, online learning can sometimes feel isolating for students and faculty. How does one build a sense of community in online courses? (Read more from Faculty Focus.)

Why Schools Should Not Teach General Critical-Thinking Skills

Since the early 1980s, schools have become captivated by the idea that students must learn a set of generalized thinking skills to flourish in the contemporary world—and especially in the contemporary job market. Variously called twenty-first-century learning skills or critical thinking, the aim is to equip students with a set of general problem-solving approaches that can be applied to any given domain. (Read more from Aeon.)



Filed under: CAA News

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