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Standards & Guidelines » CAA Guidelines

Curriculum Vitae for Art Historians: Recommended Conventions

Adopted by the CAA Board of Directors in February 1999; revised in February 2003.

General Comments

The curriculum vitae (CV) conventions presented here are primarily for those beginning their academic careers. Approaches to CV development can vary based on years in the field, area(s) of specialization, specified institutional formats, etc.

The format CAA recommends is the “long” CV, designed to serve as a framework on which to build. It takes into account the needs of both the art historian and those reading the document. As your career progresses, you will undoubtedly need to add new categories or make changes in your format. Always remember to keep your CV up-to-date, just as you would your letters of reference.

A short CV may be required for grant applications, special events, business/commercial applications, etc. It is merely a condensed version of your curriculum vitae. It highlights your most significant professional achievements and should not be longer than three or four pages. Service and nonacademic activities are usually left out. If you have a significant number of publications, you may wish to use a heading such as “Selected Publications.”

Avoid making the CV complicated. Dramatic layouts and attempts to pad your CV will probably work against you. A beautifully constructed CV will not get you the job if your scholarship is weak. While it is important to avoid padding your cv, it is equally important that you do not leave out academic accomplishments. Be sure to list all of your degrees, not just the ones related to art history. In your efforts to keep you CV current, get into the habit of keeping a record or scrapbook of all your professional activities. Keep documentation of a lecture you gave, your conference participation, notes from publishers indicating the status of your book, etc. You may eventually have to do this is some form for salary raises, retention (renewal), promotion, tenure, and post-tenure reviews. Your record keeping should prove the existence of everything in your curriculum vitae.

The term “curriculum vitae” is commonly used, so it need not be underlined or italicized. The abbreviation “CV” does not require periods. This format has been adopted by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA).

Developing Your Curriculum Vitae

Job applicants are often unaware that individuals outside the department to which they are applying are frequently involved with the search process. There are many administrators is academia who are not familiar with the specifics of art-related fields. Make the CV easy to follow. Search committee members and administrators may need to review hundreds of applications, so your CV needs to be easy on the eye. Select fonts and font sizes that facilitate reading. Use the white space well. Do not submit your CV on a computer disk or CD-ROM unless it is specified.

Sample Curriculum Vitae (with Commentary)

List your most recent activities first (under each heading), Pagination after the first page is recommended. Use 10 pt. type or larger.

1. Name (in bold or larger font)
Phone Number(s): Work, Home, Fax
Comments: Be sure to list addresses and phone numbers that are current. Make it easy to be reached. The inclusion of information such as place and date of birth is optional.
2. Education
PhD 1998 University of Kansas
Dissertation: “Medieval Art Is Pretty Neat” (advisor’s name optional)
MA 1994 Yale University
BA 1992 Swarthmore College (High Honors)
Area(s) of Specialization: Medieval Art, Early Christian Art

Comments: List all of the academic degrees you have earned (noting honors). Degrees outside the field of art history do not diminish your standing. For example, a degree in studio art might be seen as an important dimension of your background during the job search. Studio artists may have a role in your employment.

The inclusion of the title of your MA thesis is optional.

If the PhD has not been completed, describe your current status (qualifying exam, coursework finished, remaining time on dissertation, etc.).

3. Professional Experience (Teaching Experience, Academic Appointments)
1998–Present Visiting Assistant Professor, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY
1997–98 Teaching Assistant, Art History Survey, Fall and Spring (instructor of record each term), University of Kansas
1996, Summer Curatorial Assistant, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas
1994, Summer Administrative Assistant, Sotheby’s, New York, NY

Comments: Using the exact professional title/rank is very important for every teaching position you list. There are distinct differences between titles such as Instructor, Lecturer, Adjunct Professor, Visiting Assistant Professor, etc.

If you had the opportunity to teach as a graduate student, it might be useful to indicate whether or not you were the “instructor of record.” This tells the reader that you were responsible for all aspects of the course (lectures, syllabi, and grades).

If you are right out of graduate school and do not have significant teaching experience, you may have art-related experiences and/or important positions outside the world of art that are worth listing (military service, Peace Corps). Be sure to use a heading that best describes your work experience. It is acceptable to provide brief descriptions of the nonacademic positions.

4. Grants/Fellowships/Awards (Awards/Honors, etc.)
1997 University of Kansas Graduate Student Travel Grant
University of Kansas Award Outstanding Teaching Award by a Graduate Student
1996–98 Graduate Fellowship, University of Kansas
5. Publications (Use the Art Bulletin Style Guide for your entries.)
Note: The hierarchy of publications listed here may not be suitable for every institution or situation.
Book(s) completed
Book(s) edited
Book(s) coedited
Chapters in books
Scholarly periodicals (refereed/juried, invited) Note: if the article has been translated or anthologized one should list that information with the entry under the main citation (not as a separate entry)
Article written for Festschrift, Album Amicorum
Exhibition/museum catalogues
Catalogue essays
Catalogue entries
Book Reviews
Encyclopedia/Dictionary Entries/Bibliographies/Databases/Websites/Instructional Programs
Other (example: exhibition(s) that you have curated)
Publications in Progress

Comments: It is unlikely that the young scholar will have more than two or three publications. Given this reality, it is perfectly acceptable to simply list your scholarly writings under the heading “Publications.” As your career progresses, you may wish to use the various headings that have been listed.

Some institutions give more weight to articles that are juried or refereed. Some might find it useful to indicate whether the publication was juried or invited at the end of the entry. The relative weights of the various types of publications vary among be a greater addition to your field than a refereed article.

“Work in progress” means the author is working on the research and/or writing of an essay or book project but that it has not been submitted for publication review.

“Under review” means the essay or book has been submitted for review but no decision has yet been made by the publisher.

“Forthcoming” means the essay or book has been formally accepted for publication (stipulate where).

“In press” means that the essay or book is in the stage of copyediting or proofs.

6. Conferences/Presentations/Papers (Symposia, Colloquia, etc.)
1998 College Art Association Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario
Paper: “The Canon: What's Right? What’s Wrong” (Title of panel may be listed as well)
Symposium, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York
“Visual Epithets: Depicting Otherness”
1997 Southeastern College Art Conference, Richmond, Virginia
Panel Chairperson: “New Studies: Medieval Manuscripts”

Comments: Participation at professional conferences is a significant activity. List only those conferences where you were a participant (panel chair, delivered a paper, served as a discussant, keynote or plenary speaker, professional workshop, significant organizational business, honoree, etc.).

If you have presented a certain paper on multiple occasions, list the institutions, conferences, etc., under a single entry. Multiple listings of the same paper may be viewed as padding the CV.

7. Guest Lectures
1998 Lecture, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
Title of Paper: “Manuscripts: Medieval Minds, Medieval Hands”
8. Professional Service (Service)
Most universities require a certain amount of service within the university and local community. Always include dates of service. Professional service for art historians may appear in the form of:

Committee work within the university
Service in professional organizations (board or committee member)
Manuscript reviews
Tenure reviews
Service as grader for Advanced Placement
Articles, essays, etc., in nonscholarly publications like magazines and newspapers
Fundraising for the university, professional organizations
Service as juror for exhibitions
Consulting (public-art projects)
Education projects in the community

Comments: The details of this section may be adjusted as needed. The “value” of these kinds of activities varies among institutions.
9. Professional Affiliations
College Art Association
Southeastern College Art Conference
10. Languages Read/Spoken
11. Computer Skills, Audio-Visual Skills, Photographic/Slide Making Skills, Exhibitions
Comments: Art historians at smaller institutions may have responsibilities related to the slide collection and/or operation of exhibition spaces. On the other hand, a list of these skills might be omitted if you sense this information would be used by an institution to expand your duties.
12. Other
At this point in your CV, you might wish to include:
Brief descriptions of the courses you have taught or created
References (which can also be included on a separate page with your cover letter)

Authors and Contributors

Submitted by the CAA Professional Practices Committee (1999): Michael Aurbach (chair), Frederick Asher, Whitney Davis, Linda Hults, Dennis Ichiyama, Annette Weintraub, and Richard West. Special thanks to Ellen Konowitz.

Revised by the Professional Practices Committee (2003): D. Fairchild Ruggles, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (chair). Special thanks to Marilyn Brown, Tulane University.