CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Aug 19, 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.

Making the Most of the Syllabus

On the first day of class, after a brief introduction to the class topic and my related background, I pass out the syllabus in hard copy. We then read the document together out loud. I ask a student to read the first paragraph. Then the next student reads the next paragraph, and so on. In addition to ensuring that every student reads the entire syllabus, I help students get over possible anxieties about hearing themselves speak in front of their peers. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

It’s the Little Things That Count in Teaching

Line up course readings. Plan the syllabus. Design lesson plans and homework assignments. Those are some of the big-picture elements that we all fret over as college instructors preparing for the fall semester. But as teachers of writing and rhetoric, we’ve come to realize the crucial role of the (often overlooked) “little” things. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

How Art Became Irrelevant

In terms of quantifiable data—prices spent on paintings and photographs and sculptures, visitors accommodated, funds raised, and square footage created at museums—the picture could hardly be rosier. Equally robust is the art market, to judge by a Christie’s auction on May 11 that set several records, including the highest price ever paid at auction for a work of art. But quantifiable data can only describe the fiscal health of the fine arts, not their cultural health. Here the picture is not so rosy. (Read more from Commentary.)

Why Is Stolen Art So Hard to Find?

Twenty-five years ago, two thieves dressed as police officers bluffed their way into Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and made away with $500 million of artwork by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, and others. The thieves didn’t cover their faces and apparently didn’t know much about what they were stealing: they roughly cut the paintings from their frames and left more valuable works hanging on the walls. Despite the thieves’ apparent inexpertise and the ensuing media attention, no suspects were ever arrested and the art was never recovered. (Read more from Slate.)

Collectible after All: Christiane Paul on Net Art at the Whitney Museum

The Whitney Museum artport has been an important institutional presence in net art and new media since its launch in 2002. Created and curated by Christiane Paul, artport features online commissions as well as documentation of new-media artworks from the museum’s exhibitions and collections. This year, artport as a whole was made an official part of the Whitney Museum collection; to mark this occasion, the artist Marisa Olson interviewed Paul about the program’s history and evolution over thirteen years. (Read more from Rhizome.)

The Hell You Say

Half a century ago, the defense of free speech was closely identified with groups like the Free Speech Movement, a confederation of activists who came together at the University of California in Berkeley, after a student was arrested for setting up a table of civil-rights literature, in defiance of antisolicitation rules. But as the 1990s progressed, fights over obscenity subsided and fights over so-called political correctness intensified; “free speech” became a different kind of rallying cry, especially on college campuses. (Read more from the New Yorker.)

Thirteen Art History Emojis We Desperately Wish Were Real

This one goes out to all the art-savvy texters of the world, looking to add some of history’s finest manifestations of creative expression to their OMGs and LOLs. It’s been over two years since the glory days of #emojiarthistory, when the art world banded together to adapt art classics into emojis using the options available. What if, instead of using two dancing ballerinas to signify a Diane Arbus photo, there existed a whole realm of ready-made art emojis based on the canon of art history? (Read more from the Huffington Post.)

Late Again?

It’s 9:30 AM, and the upper-level course I teach on mass communication is about to begin. Ten of my twenty-seven students are missing. Twenty minutes later, that number dwindles to just two, as eight students arrive, one by one, during my lecture. Frustration kicks in as I try not to let the latecomers derail my train of thought. Does any of that sound familiar? (Read more from Vitae.)

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