Dissertations, Schools, Advisers, and Jobs: What the Numbers Tell Us about Art History
In this conversation, Nancy Um, Pepe Karmel, and Aaron Hyman discuss how computational analysis of dissertation topics and job placements casts light on the state of art history. Their discussion summarizes and expands upon caa.review's ongoing series, "What do we know about the future of art history?", including essays by Um (August 18, 2020), Um and Emily Hagen (June 28, 2021), and Karmel (forthcoming). Um and Karmel delve into the merits and difficulties of learning to work with quantitative methods, the potential and pitfalls of data-driven claims, the responsibilities of art history doctoral programs to their students, and the complexities of data management. Referenced: “Just What Is It That Makes Contemporary Art So Different, So Appealing,” in Visual Resources, vol. 27, no. 4 (December 2011), pp. 318-329 (contribution to a special issue on “The Crisis in Art History,” edited by Patricia Mainardi): http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01973762.2011.622233
Aaron M. Hyman is assistant professor of early modern art in the Department of the History of Art at Johns Hopkins University and author of the recent book Rubens in Repeat: The Logic of the Copy in Colonial Latin America (Getty Research Institute, 2021). He is also an editorial board member at caa.reviews.
Nancy Um is Professor of Art History and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Inclusion at Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, Binghamton University. She is the author of The Merchant Houses of Mocha: Trade and Architecture in an Indian Ocean Port (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2009) and Shipped but not Sold: Material Culture and the Social Protocols of Trade during Yemen’s Age of Coffee (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2017).
Pepe Karmel teaches in the Department of Art History, New York University. Karmel is the author of two books, Picasso and the Invention of Cubism (2003) and Abstract Art: A Global History (2020), and he has written widely on modern and contemporary art for museum catalogues, as well as the New York Times, Art in America, Brooklyn Rail, and other publications. He has curated or co-curated numerous exhibitions, including Robert Morris: Felt Works (Grey Art Gallery, New York, 1989), Jackson Pollock (MoMA, New York, 1998), and Dialogues with Picasso (Museo Picasso Málaga, 2020).