CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Jun 24, 2015

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.

A Win for Academic Freedom: Steven Salaita Awarded Back-to-Back Victories against University That Fired Him

The first part of June has awarded back-to-back victories to Steven Salaita, a professor who last year was dismissed from his post at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for posting tweets considered by some to be beyond the pale of proper academic discourse. What makes this case especially interesting—and what the recent court decision and a critical vote by the largest confederation of US professors in the country shows—is the undue and improper interference of wealthy donors on the internal affairs of public educational institutions. (Read more from Salon.)

Should I Ask Someone to Write about My Show?

I’ve had two solo shows in the last couple of years that received absolutely no press coverage. I’m trying to get a better position at the college at which I currently teach and need all the help I can get. Reviews look good on a résumé. Should I ask some of the local writers to write about my next show? What if they are good friends? (Read more from Burnaway.)

Help Desk: Serious Damage

I have my work up in a solo exhibition at a well-known arts center in a large city. Last weekend during open gallery hours, I walked in to find five wall pieces and a major floor sculpture missing. The attendants had no idea what had happened or where the work was. Finally, I found someone who let me in to the offices where the work was being stored. Two pieces were broken and the rest were undamaged. How should I handle this situation? (Read more from Daily Serving.)

Blurring the Museum-Gallery Divide

Ever since Mark Rosenthal left his job as head of twentieth-century art at the National Gallery in Washington to become an independent curator, museums around the country have sought his talents. Now art galleries are trying to hire him, too—but not just for his scholarship. “There was a big expectation,” Rosenthal said, “that I could deliver works for sale.” (Read more from the New York Times.)

You Want to Write for a Popular Audience? Really?

At a recent job interview, I explained to the committee that I was trying to write a book for a popular audience. One of them smirked, but at least had the grace to try to hide it behind her hand. The self-described maverick of the team simply laughed out loud. The head of the committee stared at me in genuine amazement. “Why bother?” he asked. After all, there was no hope of reaching the general public. Or as he put it, “the masses will always just be the masses.” (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

World’s Most Inaccessible Art Found in the Heart of the Colombian Jungle

A British wildlife filmmaker has returned from one of the most inaccessible parts of the world with extraordinary footage of ancient rock art that has never been filmed or photographed before. In an area of Colombia so vast and remote that contact has still not been made with some tribes thought to live there, Mike Slee used a helicopter to film hundreds of paintings depicting hunters and animals believed to have been created thousands of years ago. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Arts Philanthropy Booming, Cultural Giving Rises 9.2 Percent, New Study Says

Americans’ donations to arts and culture rose 9.2 percent in 2014, the highest increase in nine categories tracked by Giving USA, an annual report on charitable contributions. Overall, however, arts and culture commanded a modest share of the philanthropic pie. (Read more from the Los Angeles Times.)

How to Use Student Evaluations Wisely

I’m well aware that the value of student evaluations is contested, but like my father, I’ve also found that they can be useful tools. At my own institution, I inherited a nuanced set of faculty-designed guidelines on the use of student evaluations. Among the best ideas I found in them. (Read more from Vitae.)

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