CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Nov 16, 2016

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.

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.) 

Now, More Than Ever, Designers Must Transform America

Thoughtful design, whether it’s a logo, an object, or a well-organized protest, has always had the ability to effect political change. And yet, in days following the election, the power of design felt—at least momentarily—diminished. Graphic design didn’t affect the outcome. (Read more from Wired.)

The Obligation to Explain

One of the striking aspects of the controversy around Kelley Walker’s exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in Saint Louis is how many important issues it raises: the perilous state of race relations; the dilemmas that arise when one person’s freedom of speech is perceived as hate speech; whether white artists can tackle the subject of black experience without engaging in cultural appropriation; and the extent to which social media pressures museums to bring more transparency to their curatorial process. (Read more from Artcritical.)

Iconic Ancient Sites Ravaged in ISIS’s Last Stand in Iraq

Recently released satellite imagery of archaeological sites around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul has revealed extensive destruction at two capital cities of ancient Mesopotamia, according to researchers with the American Schools of Oriental Research Cultural Heritage Initiatives. (Read more from National Geographic.)

The Future of the Tiny Liberal-Arts College

At first glance, it sounds like a grim affair: a group of fifteen presidents from the country’s tiniest liberal-arts institutions met in New York in June, even amid experts’ predictions of small-college mergers and closings. Attendees who were at the meeting report the mood was far from somber, though. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Crash and Burn

Your course plan looked great on paper. It passed departmental faculty review. Perhaps it even integrated some progressive pedagogical experimentations. In sum, the class held real promise. But when it got to the classroom, your first-run of the course was received with far less enthusiasm than you anticipated. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

Auditioning for the Role of Colleague

Far too many graduate students earnestly prepare for their job talk as if the talk itself is what matters most. It was not until a casual meeting with a member of my dissertation committee in her cozy office that I learned the secret to delivering a great job talk: nothing matters more than how you manage the Q&A portion. (Read more from Vitae.)

Makeover Mania: Inside the Twenty-First-Century Craze for Redesigning Everything

In theory, the redesign begins with a problem. The problem might be specific or systemic or subjective. A logo makes a company’s image feel out of date. A familiar household object has been overtaken by new technology. A service has become too confusing for new users. The world is, after all, full of problems. (Read more from the New York Times Magazine.)

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