CAA News Today

Visit the Virtual Jefferson Lecture

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites you to join us online for a gala national event featuring Walter Isaacson, the biographer of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein, speaking on The Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences.

Isaacson will be delivering the 2014 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, the most prestigious honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities. The date is 7:30 p.m. May 12th at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

NEH will make a free, high definition, live stream of the lecture available for national viewing. Read more.

Watch Walter Isaacson

Isaacson is one of the preeminent biographers, journalists, and intellectual leaders of our time. He conducted more than 40 interviews with Steve Jobs to write his definitive biography, getting  Jobs to describe his own legacy in both the humanities and in technology. His biography of Albert Einstein defined unconventional thinking; his work on Benjamin Franklin and others describes The Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences in human terms. As president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, he gathers the intellectual elite in a policy powerhouse. Read more.

Convene Film Nights and Start New Conversations

NEH will make the Jefferson Lecture instantly available to very community in the United States with a high speed internet connection. We hope that hundreds of groups will sponsor Jefferson Lecture nights and film discussion groups to consider The Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences within their schools, communities, and states. Read more.

Catch Up Later

Busy on May 12th?  The lecture will be available on for a year to spur reading and discussion of the Humanities and STEM—science, technology, engineering and math.  America needs both the sciences and the humanities to be competitive, innovative, and strong. Read more.

What Do I Need To Do?

Find a venue. Invite an audience. Plan a program.  Go to  Let us know of your plans so people can find a nearby location. Read more.

Join the National Conversation

Share your thoughts and comments with viewers across the country using the Twitter hashtag: #JeffLec2014.

Today CAA unveils a newly restructured membership program for individuals. The new membership categories are based on benefits rather than on income, making the various tiers more equitable and offering members more choices. CAA arrived at the new levels—which include, for the first time, a discounted membership for part-time faculty—after a thorough analysis of member feedback, benchmarking against other organizations, and conducting market research. You can watch a video about the new membership program and find a list of benefits associated with each new category at

All individual members will continue to receive an outstanding package of benefits, including print subscriptions to CAA’s acclaimed publications, access to the Online Career Center, discounted registration for the Annual Conference, and invaluable networking and mentoring opportunities. New benefits and options include:

  • Online access to The Art Bulletin and Art Journal
  • Additional online access to publications in the Taylor & Francis collection
  • Access to JPASS—JSTOR’s individual access plan with a catalogue of over 1,500 journals—at a 50 percent discount
  • A new, discounted membership category designed to meet the needs of part-time faculty

CAA members make up a vital network that supports the highest standards in scholarship, theory, criticism, education, and practice in the visual arts. Membership dues help CAA to fund important research, carry out advocacy initiatives, publish its scholarly journals, administrate professional-development programs, and host the world’s best-attended visual-arts conference.

New Membership Categories

The dues associated with each level of membership are:

  • Student: $60
  • Retired: $80
  • Part-Time Faculty: $90
  • Basic: $125
  • Premium: $195
  • Sustaining: $300
  • Patron: $600
  • Life: $5,000

CAA also offers two-year terms and an automatic renewal option for all levels of membership.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read CAA’s comprehensive FAQs on the new categories and other helpful topics, such as how to join online, how to access publications online, what kind of documentation is needed for students and retired professionals, and how to managing your email subscriptions. You can find the FAQs at


If you have any questions, please contact CAA’s Member Services by telephone at 212-691-1051, ext. 1; by email at; and by fax at 212-627-238. Office hours are Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM EST.


Filed under: Membership

Join the Wyeth Publication Grant Jury

posted by April 03, 2014

CAA received a grant from the Wyeth Foundation for American Art to offer the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant for three additional years. The funding will allow CAA to award $40,000 in grants to publishers each year from 2014 to 2017. Wyeth grants support the publication of books on the history of American art, visual studies, and related subjects that have been accepted by a publisher on their merits but cannot be published in the most desirable form without a subsidy. For this program, “American art” is defined as art created in the United States, Canada, and Mexico through 1970. The program has supported thirty-nine books since 2005.

CAA seeks nominations and self-nominations for two individuals with expertise in any branch of American art history, visual studies, or a related field to serve on the jury for the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant for a three-year term, July 1, 2014–June 30, 2017. Candidates must be actively publishing scholars with demonstrated seniority and achievement; institutional affiliation is not required.

Members review manuscripts and grant applications once a year and meet in New York in the fall to select awardees. CAA reimburses jury members for travel and lodging expenses in accordance with its travel policy.

Candidates must be current CAA members and should not currently serve on another CAA editorial board or committee. Jury members may not themselves apply for a grant in this program during their term of service. Nominators should ascertain their nominee’s willingness to serve before submitting a name; self-nominations are also welcome. Please send a letter of interest describing your qualifications for appointment, a CV, and contact information to: Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant, College Art Association, 50 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10004; or send all materials as email attachments to Alex Gershuny, CAA editorial manager. Deadline: May 10, 2014.

Image Caption

Yale University Press received a Wyeth grant in 2012 to help publish Katherine Bussard’s book Unfamiliar Streets (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.

The Most Expensive Colleges in the Country Are Art Schools, not Ivies

I recently stumbled across this handy tool from the Department of Education, which generates lists of colleges by cost. The schools that usually get dinged for high tuition (and as a result, scare off low-income applicants) are the elite colleges. But many of those schools are quite rich and distribute a lot of financial aid. (Read more from the Washington Post.)

Sure, I Do Creative Work, but I’m No Artist

Who, exactly, is an artist? Many claim the title, with little to back up their assertion. We’ve all met people who define themselves as artists but have yet to actually produce any actual art. A new study finds that, surprisingly, the reverse is also true. It identifies a large group of Americans who have every right to call themselves professional artists but for some reason avoid doing so. (Read more from Pacific Standard.)

You’re Sure of a Big Surprise

Museums across the United States are hiring staff under the “public engagement” rubric, often as part of their education departments. The Henry Art Gallery in Seattle is seeking “a director of education and public engagement,” and in January the Whitney Museum in New York hired a “director of public programs and public engagement.” Both are new positions. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Without Tenure or a Home

In the classroom, Mary-Faith Cerasoli, an adjunct professor of Romance languages, usually tries to get her message across in lyrical Italian or Spanish. But during spring break, she used stencils and ink and abbreviated English to write her current message—“Homeless Prof.”—on a white ski vest she planned to wear on a solo trip to Albany two days later to protest working conditions for adjunct college professors. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Russian Oligarchs and Brazilian Millionaires Interested in DIA? Orr Was Speaking Metaphorically

OK, let’s clear up any misunderstanding: Russian oligarchs and Brazilian millionaires are not amassed in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts in the hopes of being first in line should the treasures inside go up for sale. But that doesn’t mean they, or someone like them, aren’t intensely interested. While giving a speech at the University of Michigan, Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr said that many Russian oligarchs—meaning super-wealthy Russian businessmen—and Brazilian millionaires were “calling and inquiring” about the art. However, Orr’s spokesman Bill Nowling clarified that the emergency manager spoke metaphorically. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

United We Stand: How Galleries Are Working Together

From the Renaissance bottega to the art factories of Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, artists have long recognized that they get by better with a little help from their friends. Institutions have been slower to catch on. As public funding dwindles, the scramble for sponsorship gets ever more rivalrous as museums vie to woo patrons with the glossiest gala dinner and most highbrow curatorial outing. (Read more from the Financial Times.)

Protesters Rain Down Thousands of Bills in Guggenheim Rotunda

At 6:45 PM on March 29, a handheld bell sounded in the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, signaling the second protest action in as many months from the Global Ultra Luxury Faction (or GULF). The ringing was followed by the release of nine thousand “1%” bills of parodic currency, which fluttered downward as patrons rushed to the inner edge of Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiral ramp. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)

Vatican Library Goes Digital

The Vatican Apostolic Library has announced a €18 million deal with a Japanese IT company to digitize 3,000 ancient manuscripts over the next four years. In a press conference last week, the library’s prefect, Monsignor Cesare Pasini, said the partnership with NTT Data Corporation continues “a task we have been undertaking for years” to digitize the Vatican’s entire collection of 82,000 manuscripts, an estimated 40 million pages. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Filed under: CAA News

National Mobilization for Equity

posted by April 01, 2014


Significant progress has been made by United University Professions (UUP) and other unions, disciplinary societies, the media and lately the U.S. Congressional staff to draw attention to the plight of contingent academic labor. What is needed now is a visible project to activate the nearly one million contingent teachers themselves. Individuals and organizational leaders around the country are coming together to form a National Mobilization for Equity, whose initial effort will be to organize rallies and other public events, beginning on May Day (May 1, 2014).

Mayday $5K Campaign

Last spring, activists at SUNY New Paltz launched a Mayday $5K Campaign. This calls for a minimum starting salary of $5,000 for a three-credit course, halfway between the current average compensation and the $7K recommended by the Modern Language Association as a minimum starting salary. The Mayday $5K Campaign calls for a number of important measures:

1. Increase the starting salary for a three-credit semester course to a minimum of $5,000 for all instructors in higher education.
2. Ensure academic freedom by providing progressively longer contracts for all contingent instructors who have proven themselves during an initial probationary period.
3. Provide health insurance for all instructors, either through their college’s health insurance system or through the Affordable Care Act.
4. Support the quality education of our students by providing their instructors with necessary office space, individual development support, telephones, email accounts and mail boxes.
5. Guarantee fair and equitable access to unemployment benefits when college instructors are not working.
6. Guarantee eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to all college instructors who have taught for ten years, during which they were repaying their student loans.
7. With or without a time-in service requirement, allow all college teachers to vote and hold office in institutional governance, including faculty senates and academic departments.

This $5K Campaign has been endorsed by nearly a thousand individuals, by New Faculty Majority and by the statewide Executive Board and Delegate Assembly of the UUP, the nation’s largest higher education union. The $5K figure is not set in stone. Depending on the locale, it can be adjusted up or down, according to specific circumstances.

National Mobilization for Equity

The National Mobilization for Equity focuses on organizing May Day activities nationwide, either in support of the $5K Campaign or simply to highlight the plight of contingents and the need for change. On February 3, 2014, UUP’s full Delegate Assembly unanimously passed the following resolution:

Resolved, that the Contingent Employment Committee supports efforts by UUP members to form a National Mobilization for Equity that will, collectively with other unions and organizations, organize rallies and other events annually, beginning on May 1, 2014. These activities are intended to focus attention on the urgent plight of contingent academic labor and to publicly advocate for change. The Contingent Employment Committee asks the full Delegate Assembly for its endorsement of the National Mobilization for Equity and additionally requests UUP President Fred Kowal to reach out to NYSUT and AFT to secure their material support for this effort.

We need to create a MOVEMENT, to activate the one million contingents at the grass-roots’ level, which would greatly help those in organizational leadership positions working with state or federal agencies and legislatures. In addition to contingents, we need to activate tenure-track faculty, retirees, students and their parents, allied organizations, community groups and the general public. Organizing events around the country on May Day can help develop to organize a national grass-roots movement.

During the past decade, we have collectively spent thousands of hours and considerable financial resources working for equity. Our movement lacks any single MLK-like charismatic leader. Instead, there are many dedicated unionists and activists willing to work together to build an equity movement from the bottom up. Individuals or organizational leaders who want to work on this are invited to contact me. A Mobilization steering committee is being formed and will be announced shortly. Please join us!

In solidarity,

Peter D.G. Brown, Chapter President
Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
United University Professions
SUNY, Lecture Center 6a
New Paltz, NY 12561
Office:  845-257-2783
Mobile: 917-886-1925

Please sign the Mayday Declaration here

Filed under: Advocacy, Workforce

The National Humanities Alliance sent the following email on April 1, 2014.

Act Now: Paul Ryan Calls for Elimination of Funding for NEH

Dear Humanities Advocate,

This morning, Paul Ryan called for the complete elimination of funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities in his FY 2015 budget resolution.

Help defeat the Ryan Proposal today by urging your elected officials to join a bipartisan effort to support NEH. By signing on to the Senate Dear Colleague letter, your Senators can demonstrate support for NEH funding to the appropriations committee members that hold the agency’s future in their hands.

Click here to send our message to your Senators today. They are waiting to hear from you.

If you sent a message last week, thank you. If you haven’t sent one yet, it is critical that you act now. The deadline for Senators to sign on to the letter is Friday, April 4.

Thanks for your help!

Stephen Kidd, Ph.D.
Executive Director
National Humanities Alliance
(202) 296-4994 x149

After last month’s Annual Conference, recipients of CAA’s 2014 International Travel Grants were invited to contribute short articles reflecting on their experiences in Chicago. What follows is a personal reminiscence from Lilianne Lugo, an educator, administrator, and playwright based in Havana, Cuba. Lugo studies the relationship between the history of art and the history of theater, as well as the intersections of contemporary art practice and the performing arts. She is professor and vice dean of research and postgraduate studies at the Universidad de las Artes in Havana, Cuba.


The persistence of melancholy. The persistence of the friends I have released to oblivion. The persistence of the memories of other cities, other people that I miss. I walk in an unknown city. I can barely breathe, it’s so cold. My best friend wrote me an email. “What are you doing?” he asks. “I miss you….” But when I wrote him back I can only send him a picture of my foot on the snow … it’s my way of embracing the spirit of life, my way of saying that I am seizing and enjoying the opportunities that suddenly emerge in our lives and change it forever. Just a few moments in life can be counted like that, and this is one of them.

First time in the snow. From the plane I can see the frozen ground. Behind I have left the unbearable heat of Havana and the noise of its streets. First time in Chicago. First time in the United States. First time at CAA’s conference. So many impressions, so many new people. I can write only in first person singular. I can’t speak for the others. I can’t talk about what I haven’t seen before.

For a couple of days the Hilton Chicago is invaded by hordes of art historians, artists, professors, and recruiters. It’s a huge event, and the whole city seems to inhale a whirlwind of art. Exhibitions, talks, panels, and informal gatherings that interrupt the rhythm of daily routines and establish a different understanding of reality. In a world of white ground, how to conjure the fire of masterpieces? How can we understand and explain (if that’s possible) from a warm and carpeted hotel the always ungraspable world of art and art history?

For twenty people each year, the College Art Association and the Getty Foundation make it possible to attend this conference. That means twenty people in the world receive a gift to come to the States and share and learn what we know about the art in our countries with colleagues from all over the US. This time the group is composed of people from Egypt, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, South Africa, Portugal, Poland, Cuba, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon, Estonia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Croatia.

Some images of those days come to my mind: the day of the preconference, in which each of us presented a paper about our research, and the discussion afterward about so many different topics. Art Shay’s exhibition My Florence at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago that we, as a group, visited together. In the library of the college we saw the photographs and the artist himself. It was the story of his life, the little moments he shared with his wife and family, and it was so impressive to see him, with the energy and look that only years can bring. Or the exhibition at the DePaul Art Museum, The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus, about the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and the environment of that particular area that, in the former days of Communism, was the recreational spot for Joseph Stalin. And then we walked with our graduate-student host to see the Lakeview neighborhood nearby. Or the meetings with so many bright and marvelous people….

Then, when the conference ended, another trip was waiting for us, to the Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts. From the plane’s window we could see Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty; at LaGuardia airport we said goodbye to our fellow travel-grant recipient Mahmuda Khnam, who was feeling sick and couldn’t travel to Williamstown. We talked on the drive north and shared our opinions, we talked about everything: Brazilian soap operas, LGBT rights, curatorial practices, communism, incomes, outcomes, food, and snow. Then, a warm welcome at the Clark, a very special place in a beautiful setting where studying takes place in real luxury. Outside it snowed all day long, but inside the Clark was joyful and cozy, as we were received in that sanctuary of knowledge like kings and queens.

Now, in the sun again, I remember with joy the city of Chicago, the museums, the extraordinary collection of the Art Institute, the people of CAA, my fellow grant recipients, and, of course, all that I have learned about not only specific issues related to my research, but also the methodologies and approaches that many colleagues are currently using. I learned, too, about how things work in the professional world of art and art history in the United States.

I began this essay talking about melancholy. It’s the feeling I get when I think about those moments during CAA’s conference. Portuguese had a beautiful word to describe it: saudade. And that would be the best word, because even in Spanish nostalgia or melancolía are not the same. I cherish those moments. While I am thinking about what lies ahead, I am eager to come back and share with my new colleagues the fruits of another year of work.

Image Caption

Lilianne Lugo.

Filed under: Annual Conference, International