CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Dec 23, 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.

Academics: Forget about Public Engagement, Stay in Your Ivory Towers

Academics are constantly encouraged to engage with the public more often, but this advice ignores the way that specialized knowledge already affects civic life. Specialization has social importance—but often only after decades of work. It is time for us to reassess what we mean by public scholarship. We must recognize the value of the esoteric knowledge, technical vocabulary, and expert histories that academics produce. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Give Your Syllabus an Extreme Redesign for the New Year

Do you ever feel like you want to get more out of your syllabus? Sure, it plays center stage during the first day of class, but does it really have to end there? Perhaps it’s a matter of presentation. (Read more from GradHacker.)

Built-In Self-Assessment: A Case for Annotation

If we want students to be critical thinkers, we must routinely and explicitly give them structured practice opportunities to critically examine their own thinking. Squeezing two or three metacognitive activities into a hectic semester teaches students that such reflection is only for special occasions. Rather, student self-evaluation should be a daily course routine. (Read more from Faculty Focus.)

Virtual-Reality Lab Explores New Kinds of Immersive Learning

For students attending class via webcam or video lecture, the video is two dimensional, and the audio doesn’t sound as it would if they were in a real classroom. Ramani Duraiswami, a computer-science professor and cofounder of the start-up company VisiSonics, thinks virtual-reality technology could help the experience feel more immersive. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Dual Careers, One Academic

I’ve seen a lot written and discussed about the so-called two-body problem, as universities take on the challenge of dual-career couples coming into a new position. It’s a particularly important issue in my field, as the majority of married women in it are married to men in the field. The problem is that I’m not one of them, as I married someone whose career is outside academia. (Read more from Tenure, She Wrote.)

Swiss Artists Program Laptop to Make Random Purchases from the Dark Web

It’s unlikely that police will swoop down on a south London art gallery and apprehend a laptop that is busy making random purchases from a secretive part of the web known as the dark net. Then again, it depends what the automated shopping bot known as Random Darknet Shopper chooses to buy online and have delivered to the gallery. (Read more from the Independent.)

New Site Lets You Report Facebook and Other Networks When They Censor Art

Nudity in art has been around for thousands of years, but Facebook still can’t take it. The social-media site has blocked users like Frédéric Durand-Baïssas for sharing paintings, including Gustave Courbet’s L’Origine du Monde. Though some people have protested by creating Facebook groups like Artists Against Art Censorship, recording every instance of censorship—let alone fighting back—is next to impossible. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)

Art History, Feminism, and Wikipedia

What might the internet’s most popular general reference and free-access encyclopedia (not to mention the fifth-largest website in the world) offer a centuries-old academic discipline? How might its participatory model—the fact that anyone can access and edit most of its articles—generate new stakeholders in and audiences for our field? (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

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