Join Now      Log In

CAA News Today

2018 CAA Annual Conference. Photo: Rafael Cardenas

In fall 2018, we announced CAA had received an anonymous gift of $1 million to fund travel for art history faculty and their students to special exhibitions related to their classwork. The generous gift established the Art History Fund for Travel to Special Exhibitions.

The jury for the Art History Fund for Travel to Special Exhibitions met in May 2019 to select the first group of recipients as part of the gift.

The awardees are:

Catherine Girard, Eastern Washington University
Class: Topics in Art History: Manet Inside Out
Exhibition: Manet and Modern Beauty at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Luis Gordo Peláez, California State University Fresno
Class: Arts of the Colonial Andes
Exhibition: Art & Empire: The Golden Age of Spain at The San Diego Museum of Art

Alison Miller, University of the South
Class: Japanese Print Culture
Exhibition: Yoshitoshi: Spirit and Spectacle at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Rachel Stephens, University of Alabama
Class: American Portraiture
Exhibition: Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now at the Birmingham Museum of Art

“We’re delighted to announce the inaugural recipients of the Art History Fund for Travel to Special Exhibitions, a groundbreaking CAA program designed specifically to enhance students’ first-hand knowledge of works of art,” said Hunter O’Hanian, CAA’s executive director. “The new Fund places a spotlight on the critical work art history scholars are doing to grow the field, with CAA as the go-to organization supporting and advancing their work.”

The Art History Fund for Travel to Special Exhibitions supports travel, lodging, and research efforts by art history students and faculty in conjunction with special museum exhibitions in the United States and throughout the world. Awards are made exclusively to support travel to exhibitions that directly correspond to the class content, and exhibitions on all artists, periods, and areas of art history are eligible.

Applications for the second round of grants will be accepted by CAA beginning in fall 2019. Deadlines and details can be found on the Travel Grants page.

Attendee at 2018 CAA Annual Conference in Los Angeles. Photo: Rafael Cardenas

In August, we announced that CAA received a major anonymous gift of $1 million to fund travel for art history faculty and their students to special exhibitions related to their classwork. We’re pleased to now be accepting applications for the newly created Art History Special Exhibition Travel Fund. 

The fund is designed to award up to $10,000 to qualifying undergraduate and graduate art history classes to cover students’ and instructors’ costs (travel, accommodations, and admissions fees) associated with attending museum special exhibitions throughout the United States and worldwide.  The purpose of the grants is to enhance students’ first-hand knowledge of original works of art.

Applications are due by January 15, 2019.

APPLY NOW

Related: Someone Just Gave Budding Art Historians $1 Million So They Can Afford to Actually Go See the Art They’re Studying

GUIDELINES

  • These awards support student and instructor travel costs incurred while visiting museum special exhibitions in the United States and worldwide.
  • Graduate and undergraduate art history classes are eligible to apply for funds to attend temporary museum exhibitions (not exhibitions on permanent display) in the United States and other countries. Exhibitions on any artist, period, or area of art history are eligible for funding.
  • Awards are made directly to institutions whose membership in CAA is in good standing. Applicant instructors must be individual members of CAA in good standing. Funds may only be used to travel to exhibitions that correspond directly to the content of the class.  Ideally, classes will be no larger than fifteen students and planned to benefit from the special exhibition (for instance, a seminar on the subject of the exhibition).
  • Awards may only be used for admission fees, travel and lodging expenses for the instructor and class members. Every attempt to attain group rates must be made.

Completed applications must include the following:

  • An application form
  • Instructor’s curriculum vitae
  • A course description and syllabus that identifies and explains the exhibition as part of the pedagogical aim of the course
  • An explanation of the instructor’s expertise in the subject matter of the exhibition
  • A tentative itinerary of travel and lodging
  • A budget detailing transportation and lodging expenses associated with traveling to and from the exhibition and lodging and admission costs, including an explanation of how any travel and accommodation funds in excess of the award will be raised
  • A letter of support from the instructor’s department chair or dean

 AWARDS

Awards will not exceed $10,000 per class, per exhibition.

ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Recipients of the award will be guaranteed a session at the subsequent CAA Annual Conference after their travel has ended. CAA will make the session available, but costs associated with attending the conference, including registration, membership, travel, and accommodation, will be the participants’ responsibility.

TIMELINE

The deadline for application materials is January 15, 2019.

APPLY NOW

Submit a Proposal for Idea Exchange at CAA 2019

posted by October 09, 2018

Idea Exchange at CAA 2018 in Los Angeles. Photo: Rafael Cardenas

We launched Idea Exchange at the 2018 Annual Conference in Los Angeles in response to members who expressed an interest in holding informal roundtable discussions on topics ranging from fellowship applications and gallery representation to student engagement in the classroom and preserving women artists’s legacies.

We’re offering Idea Exchange again in 2019 and we’re looking for CAA members to serve as discussion leaders.

Propose a topic that you would like to discuss with your colleagues for a sixty-minute roundtable at the conference. It can relate to professional development, teaching, or fellowships. Suggest a discussion around current events, such as the debate surrounding Confederate monuments or the #MeToo movement in the arts. Be creative. The conversations are meant to be lively and engaging. Please submit your Idea Exchange proposals by December 14, 2018.

SUBMIT IDEA EXCHANGE TOPIC

In order to submit an Idea Exchange topic, you will need to have your member ID and password ready. If you do not have an individual ID number and password or you do not know it, please contact member services by email at membership@collegeart.org or by phone at 212-691-1051, ext. 1.

Idea Exchange will be held in the Cultural and Academic Network Hall during the following times:

Thursday, February 14: 10:30 AM; 12:30 PM; 2:00 PM; 4:00 PM

Friday, February 15: 10:30 AM; 12:30 PM; 2:00 PM; 4:00 PM

Saturday, February 16: 10:30 AM; 12:30 PM

For more information on Idea Exchange, contact Alison Chang at achang@collegeart.org or by phone at (212) 392-4436.

2018 CAA Annual Conference. Image: Rafael Cardenas

We are pleased to announce CAA has received a major anonymous gift of $1 million to fund travel for art history faculty and their students to special exhibitions related to their classwork. The gift will establish the Fund for Travel to Special Exhibitions, a new program to be administered and juried by CAA.

“This incredibly generous gift will not only support art history scholars and students for years to come, it is a powerful message to the visual arts field that their work is as important as ever,” said Hunter O’Hanian, CAA’s executive director. “The new Fund also reinforces CAA as the preeminent organization supporting and advancing professionals in the visual arts and design.”

Groundbreaking in its scope, the Fund for Travel to Special Exhibitions is intended exclusively to enhance the first-hand knowledge of original works of art. The Fund will support travel, lodging, and admission for art history students and faculty in conjunction with special museum exhibitions in the United States and throughout the world. Awards will be made exclusively to support travel to exhibitions that directly correspond to the class content. However, exhibitions on all artists, periods, and areas of art history are eligible.

Awards of up to $10,000 will be granted on a per project basis by a jury formed by CAA to oversee the Fund for Travel to Special Exhibitions.

Applications will be accepted by CAA beginning in fall 2018. All application criteria and information will be listed on the CAA website.

CAA recently corresponded with Marc Handelman, an artist and assistant professor of visual arts for the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, about a new grassroots organization concerned with advocacy issues, called the Art Professors of America.

When and why did the Art Professors of America form? What are its goals?

A couple of dozen art professors from several schools in the Northeast came together in the wake of the election initially to discuss how we might respond to a right-wing campaign to blacklist liberal and progressive faculty by smearing them as un-American. Simultaneously, many of us were seeing a troubling uptick both of threats and attacks on Latino, Muslim, and LGBTQ students, and of anti-Semitism on campuses. Some of us were also experiencing increased feelings of anxiety and self-censorship. Most of all, we felt the urgency and need of being together and sharing our experiences as artists and educators and citizens. We decided to meet every two weeks in New York and continue the conversation. Because colleagues from around the country reached out to be part of the dialogue, we started an email group that now represents professors in well over a dozen states. We are currently working on expanding this network to all fifty states, welcoming art professors of all ranks and teaching status, including TAs and those between positions. Our primary goal right now is to be a platform that connects people nationally and shares critical information. Our latest project was the launch of our website that features news related to education in our political climate and a critical resource page.

What is the purpose of the advocacy resource APA is building?

There are many potential and actual threats that faculty are facing increasingly. Some of these issues begin at the state level, where funding for classes or entire programs are being cut due to their political content. Other issues range from online harassment to deceptively progressive legislation for free-speech protection on campus. Meanwhile, higher education in general continues to foster crippling student debt as institutions struggle to deal with increasing demands for greater diversity, inclusion, and equity. The resource page we launched and continue to build on modestly attempts to provide critical information and tools to help us deal with some of these problems, from distributing information about student loans for undocumented students to debt models in art education. Other items provide online security protocol and consent laws for recording in classrooms. Some of the categories include Censorship and Intimidation, Critical Pedagogy, Alternative Art Programs, Debt and Precarity, Sanctuary and Immigration, and Legal Resources, among others.

Where do the resources come from?

Nearly all of the content already exists online in some form, from other organizations and studies. Populating the website was an extensive three-month process of collecting information and links and aggregating them in these categories. We have been so grateful to other working groups and colleagues for sharing their resources as well.

What are the most urgent issues confronting art professors in the United States today?

Clearly we don’t assume to speak for every program. But in the immediate context, the travel ban and ICE deportations may have the most immediate effects on our students, faculty, and visiting artists. Academic freedom has been under various levels of threat for a long time, and it remains to be seen how deeply and broadly new threats develop. But economic precarity and inequality remain the most pressing structural issue in education both for art schools and the larger university system. This affects part-time adjuncts who, already underpaid, are increasingly asked to do things such as decrease their course loads so as not to trigger contingent benefits, the end of tenured lines, and students who suffer under crippling debt or have no access to higher education at all. Critical and progressive curricula can’t make up for the undergirded issues of access, which are directly tied to geography, race, and class.

Under this current political regime, arts faculty may actually have a greater deal of security than professors and departments researching and teaching social justice, antiracism, and climate change. We need to continually find ways to support our colleagues in other fields.

How can CAA members get involved?

We welcome new arts-affiliated adjuncts, TAs, and professors into our organization and dialogue—the more voices represented, the better. Members will have access to group documents and files, as well as The Story Collection Project, which shares and archives testimonials and stories about what is happening in different corners of our campuses and in classrooms across the country. Meanwhile, the Art Profs America website, offering news, links, and resources, is live and available to anyone online. Please feel free to share with other colleagues as well. You can visit us, or join at http://artprofsamerica.com.

To request to join the discussion, please visit https://groups.google.com/d/forum/art-profs-america. You may also follow APA on Twitter.

Filed under: Advocacy, Higher Education, Teaching

Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR), in partnership with the Office of Library Services at the City University of New York (CUNY), is excited to announce the launch of Art History Pedagogy and Practice (AHPP) on Academic Works’ Digital Commons platform. Published by AHTR, a practitioner-led, open-educational resource for educators who address art history, visual culture, and material culture, AHPP is the first academic journal dedicated to the scholarship of teaching and learning in art history (SoTL-AH). The result of a two-year initiative, AHPP responds to a long-standing need to advance, collect, disseminate, and demonstrate pedagogical research specific to the discipline. The call for papers for the inaugural issue, forthcoming in fall 2016, is available on the AHTR website.

SoTL in Art History

AHPP results from a two-year initiative that sought to examine the ways in which art historians devote time, effort, and energy to classroom teaching, curriculum development, and student engagement. Generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, AHTR began preliminary research in 2015, which included a field-wide survey conducted by Randi Korn and Associates and a literature review assessing existing pedagogical scholarship in art history. These findings were synthesized in a white paper that demonstrated the need for SoTL-AH to be acknowledged as a legitimate area of intellectual inquiry by the institutions and communities encompassing academic art history. As a peer-reviewed journal devoted to SoTL-AH, AHPP will facilitate this process by providing scholars a forum to share research on pedagogical topics and by encouraging further academic investigation and discourse around teaching and learning in art history.

Art History Teaching Resources

AHPP builds on the success of AHTR as a platform to exchange ideas related to pedagogy in art history. Founded on dual goals to raise the value of the academic labor of teaching and to provide peer support across ranks of tenured, tenure-track, and contingent instructors, AHTR began as a collaboration between Michelle Millar Fisher at the Graduate Center and Karen Shelby at Baruch College in 2011. Fisher, then a graduate teaching fellow with a background in museum education, and Shelby, then assistant professor of art history, organized meetings where colleagues shared teaching materials and experiences. These gatherings suggested potential for a digital forum to connect a wider community of practitioners and gave rise to the arthistoryteachingresources.org website, which launched publicly in 2013.

Since that time, the site has had more than 400,000 hits from over 91,000 educators in K-12, postsecondary institutions, and art museums, and from academic support staff including reference librarians and curriculum designers. AHTR’s administration has similarly expanded to a leadership collective of art historians, ranging in experience from early career scholars to those well established in the field, and an advisory network, assembled for expertise and leadership in art history, museum education, and digital humanities and united by their interest in advancing pedagogical research. The unique relationship between AHPP and AHTR will give scholars access to diverse resources about teaching and learning—including lesson plans and the AHTR Weekly on the OER—as well as peer-reviewed articles published in the journal.

AHPP in Digital Commons

In choosing the Digital Commons platform, AHPP is enthusiastic to extend the relationship with CUNY that was first established when AHTR was born in the Graduate Center’s New Media Lab with support from Baruch Learning and Technology Grants. In keeping with the site’s origins, AHTR also contracted CHIPS, a New York web-development studio known for innovative work with cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History and 82nd and Fifth. CHIPS also redesigned the AHTR website in 2014 and created the AHPP logo.

The editors, editorial collective, and advisory board of AHPP are excited to join CUNY’s Office of Library Services in the broader open-access movement and look forward to the ways in which journal contributions will be used in the fields of SoTL, art history, and beyond. AHPP worked closely with librarians at the Office of Library Services to develop editorial policies and guidelines that are transparent to authors and readers.

AHTR and CAA

Members of the AHTR advisory board have recently collaborated with CAA’s Education Committee. At the 2016 Annual Conference in Washington, DC, Renee McGarry spoke on “Crowdsourcing the Art History Survey: How Communities and Conversations Might Help Shape the Global Survey 3.0” in a session cochaired by Anne R. Norcross, an Education Committee member. In addition, AHTR advisory-board member Kelly Donahue Wallace has been collaborating with the committee’s Denise Baxter, including leading a workshop on SoTL initiatives at next year’s conference in New York.

Help Us Develop a Fair Use Curriculum!

posted by May 03, 2016

In 2015, the College Art Association published a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts that established policies on the fair use of copyrighted materials for professionals in the visual arts field. The Code outlines the principles and limitations for applying the doctrine of fair use in five areas: critical writing, teaching, making art, museum uses, and online access to archives and special collections. It is available online, along with supplementary information, at the Fair Use web page.

With the input of our members, CAA is now developing curriculum materials to help teachers educate their students about fair use so that people entering the field will start out with a basic understanding of this important doctrine. Please help us develop useful materials by completing the following short survey, which is being administered by American University, CAA’s partner on the fair use initiative.

Please complete no later than May 20.

There are only six questions that should take less than five minutes to complete.

TAKE THE SURVEY

Thank you for your help!

This past spring the National Coalition Against Censorship worked with the Modern Language Association and CAA to produce an online survey of their members regarding trigger warnings and the pressures on instructors. While the survey was not scientific, the over eight hundred responses received offer a bird’s eye view of the debate. Here are some responses to the survey results:

Catherine Rampell, “Young Fogies: Modern Illiberalism Is Led by Students,” Washington Post, November 30, 2015.

Colleen Flaherty, “Trigger Warning Skepticism,” Inside Higher Ed, December 2, 2015.

Robby Soave, “How Trigger Warnings Protect Religious Dogma in the Classroom,” Reason, December 1, 2015.

Tyler Kingkade, “The Prevailing Narrative on Trigger Warnings Is Just Plain Wrong,” Huffington Post, December 1, 2015.

Benjamin Wermund, “Do ‘Trigger Warnings’ Harm Academic Freedom? Most Educators Think So,” Chronicle of Higher Education, December 1, 2015.

College Fix Staff, “Three in Five Professors Say Trigger Warnings Pose a Threat to Academic Freedom,” College Fix, December 1, 2015.

Leah Libresco, “Most Professors Fear, But Don’t Face, Trigger Warnings,” Five Thirty Eight, December 10, 2015.

Jesse Singal, “Is There Any Evidence Trigger Warnings Are Actually a Big Deal?,” Science of Us, December 6, 2015.

Filed under: First Amendment, Surveys, Teaching

What’s All This about Trigger Warnings?

posted by November 18, 2015

Survey reveals a complex picture: threats to academic freedom are not just about “political correctness.”

If the headlines are correct, college students everywhere are demanding professors provide so-called “trigger warnings” to flag material that might make them feel uncomfortable, and in some cases to allow students to avoid the material. If this is happening widely, the free speech implications are enormous: A broad range of works, from a documentary about sexual assault to an historical account of slavery, could be considered “triggering,” along with the possibility that many professors would steer clear of potentially controversial work.

But how prevalent are these demands? Is a resurgent tide of political correctness threatening higher education, or are the media jumping to conclusions?

To shed some light, NCAC worked with the Modern Language Association and the College Art Association this spring on an online survey of their members. While the survey is not scientific, the over 800 responses we received offer a birds’ eye view of the debate over trigger warnings, and the pressures on instructors.

The survey finds that formal university trigger policies are extremely rare: Less than one percent of respondents say their schools have them. But there is abundant anecdotal evidence suggesting that something is going on. It appears to be a bottom-up phenomenon: Students make complaints to individual professors or administrators, and instructors—many of whom are reasonably nervous about job security. As one survey respondent put it, “After teaching a course for the first time, a student complained in the anonymous evaluation. Ever since, I verbally include a trigger warning at the start of each semester.”

Fifteen percent of respondents reported that students had requested trigger warnings in their courses, while over half reported that they had voluntarily provided warnings for course materials, with 23 percent saying they have offered them “several times” or “regularly.”

So who is doing the complaining? In much of the media commentary, the focus is on left-leaning students using trigger warnings to chill speech they find offensive. One widely-read essay on the subject was titled, “I’m a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me.” While this is certainly happening, and many respondents reported sensitivities to content depicting rape and sexual assault, the survey paints a more complex picture. Contrary to conventional thinking, warnings are sought by both conservative and liberal students. “I used trigger warnings to warn about foul or sexual language, sexual content, or violence in order to allow our very conservative students to feel more in control of the material,” wrote one instructor. Another teacher was aware of “religious objections to nude models in studio courses” and “homoerotic content in art history.” Another teacher noted the use of trigger warnings “because some students were upset by the realization that certain artists were homosexuals.”

Another common theme is that it is impossible “to be able to predict which topics will be problematic for students, or will ‘trigger’ a response.” “I’ve had students want pretty detailed and specific trigger warnings for, well, everything…,” including violent imagery in a horror film class. Reported complaints concern spiders, indigenous artifacts, “fatphobia,” and more.

Many respondents draw a distinction between “trigger warnings” and course or content descriptions. The latter are widely accepted as ways to convey information about the scope, substance and requirements of a given course. As many instructors have pointed out, offering students information about course materials does not necessarily flag content as disturbing or offensive, or offer students an opportunity to avoid it, but simply provides an explanation about what material will be taught.

The strongest findings in the survey are that instructors believe that trigger warnings, if widely used, would threaten academic freedom and inquiry. Nearly half of respondents (45 percent) think trigger warnings have or will have a negative effect on classroom dynamics; on the broader question of academic freedom, 62 percent see a possible negative effect.

Those who oppose warnings say they reinforce taboos, infantilize students, “tend to impede conversation,” “stifle meaningful discussion,” and send a message to students “about what it’s ok for them to get upset about.” In contrast, supporters say they build trust and “create a positive classroom environment,” show respect for the “individual needs of students,” create “a positive and safe space for dialogue,” prepare students “to engage with the material in meaningful ways,” and prevent them from feeling “blindsided.”

The survey revealed that many instructors are deeply concerned about their students’ wellbeing, and how best to fulfill the mission of higher education. And the demand for trigger warnings may reflect a desire by students to be more engaged in their education and their communities, which has positive aspects. However, the trick is to ensure that such an interest is not expressed in ways that preclude discussion, debate, and even disagreement.

Reprinted from Censorship News, No. 123 (Fall 2015), National Coalition Against Censorship www.ncac.org.

Filed under: First Amendment, Students, Teaching

ArtHistoryTeachingResources.org recently received a grant from The Kress Foundation to conduct preliminary research for an e-journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in Art History that will launch in 2016.

We are writing to ask for your help with this initiative by completing a ten-minute survey before July 17.

AHTR is a peer-populated website, committed to experimentation, participation, and fostering community around teaching and learning in art history. The new e-journal Art History Pedagogy and Practice will build on this foundation to engage anyone interested in rigorous scholarship and quality content around pedagogical issues in art history.

This survey aims to identify stakeholders in this project and to make sure the e-journal responds to their needs. The survey will also help clarify the e-journal’s place within the existing landscape of SoTL, art history, and pedagogical research/practice, and help us better understand how a discipline-specific SoTL in art history might provide greater support for research around teaching and learning in the field.

We are distributing the survey to members of the art history and museum communities, but also seek input from university administrators, libraries, teaching/learning centers, academic technologists, and others involved in art history education. Please forward the survey to anyone you think would be willing to offer their feedback. We’re grateful for your time and theirs in helping shape what we hope will be a resource for many. We apologize for any cross-postings you may receive, but know the project will be strengthened by the broadest participation.

Click here to access the on-line survey.
(Survey participants will be eligible to win one of four $50 Amazon gift cards)

If you have questions or want more information about the e-journal initiative, we are in the process of creating an Art History Pedagogy and Practice page on the AHTR website. Immediate inquiries should be sent to teachingarthistorysurvey@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Virginia B. Spivey, Parme Giuntini, Renee McGarry
Project Leaders, Art History Pedagogy and Practice Initiative

Michelle Millar Fisher, Co-Founder and Dean, AHTR
Karen Shelby, Co-Founder and Dean, AHTR
Kathleen Wentrack, Contributing Editor, AHTR

Filed under: Art History, Surveys, Teaching