Artists with PhDs
Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism
Department of Visual and Critical Studies
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
112 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago IL 60603
Phone: +1 312 345 3788
Fax: +1 312 345 3789
Contact: James Elkins
Announcing a new book on the PhD in studio art
The studio-art PhD, or practice-based doctorate, is a hot topic in art
instruction in the US. Other countries have had these degrees for
several decades; in the UK there are up to 2,000 students currently
enrolled in such programs, and there will soon be 10 universities in
Australia that offer the degree. At the moment there are about 10
programs in the US and Canada, and another dozen more under
development. It appears that the PhD in studio art will become the
next MFA--that is, the expected terminal degree for artists who want
to get jobs teaching. In twenty or thirty years' time, it is likely
that every major art school and department will offer the PhD. The
degree is controversial wherever it exists, and there is a fair amount
of resistance to it: there have been some stormy sessions on the
subject at conferences. Most of the formative issues, from grading to
accreditation, remain unresolved.
This book is the first of its kind in the US. It is meant as a
resource to help artists, teachers, administrators, and students
assess and compare the new programs. Part I is a selection of essays
by the best-informed people on both sides of the Atlantic, including
most of the principal players and institutions. Part II is a selection
of excerpts of the PhD dissertations written by people who have
graduated from such programs, so people can see the kind of art and
scholarship the programs produce.
Here are the contents of Part I:
1: Judith Mottram, 'Researching Research in Art and Design'
2: Timothy Emlyn Jones, 'Research Degrees in Art and Design'
3: Henk Slager, 'Art and Method'
4: Mick Wilson, 'Four Theses Attempting to Revise the Terms of a Debate'
5: Victor Burgin, 'Thoughts on 'Research' Degrees in Visual Arts Departments'
6: Timothy Emlyn Jones, 'The Studio Art Doctorate in America'
7: George Smith, 'The Non-Studio PhD for Visual Artists'
8: Hilde Van Gelder and Jan Baetens, 'The Future of the Doctorate in the Arts'
9: James Elkins, 'On Beyond Research and New Knowledge'
10: Charles Harrison, 'When Management Speaks...'
11: James Elkins, ''The Three Configurations of Studio-Art PhDs'
Most of the literature justifying and defining these programs was
written in the UK, although the programs can now be found around the
world. This book has a double purpose: the selection of authors and
artists is intended to span a wide range, showing how the PhD is
implemented in different places; my own contributions are meant as
polemics, because I am unconvinced by the rhetoric of 'research' and
'new knowledge' that continue to frame discussions on the subject. It
seems to me there is an opportunity to reconfigure discussion in the
US, and to remake these programs in a new mold.
New Academia Publishing is a peer-reviewed, print-on-demand
initiative; the books may not show up in bookstores, but they are
always quickly available through Amazon and other outlets.
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