When the play Corpus Christi was revived in New York City in 2008, a review in The New York Times talked about how in the decade since the Terrence McNally play was first produced, the culture wars had subsided. "I didn’t even walk through a metal detector. Times have certainly changed," he wrote.
Tarleton State University last month called off a production of Corpus Christi -- a controversial play in which a Jesus-like character is depicted as gay, and endorses gay marriage -- following a barrage of criticism from religious groups and threats against the production and the university. Some of those opposed to the play vowed to go after any other college production of the play.
The announcement last year that Brandeis University planned to sell its noted, 6,000-piece collection of modern art stunned and angered museum officials around the world. The university said it needed money for its other operations. But to the art world, the plan represented a rejection of the idea that nonprofit institutions do not sell art from their museums except as a means to expand their collections.
When a record-breaking flood in June 2008 damaged 2.5 million square feet of the University of Iowa, the campus and the community worked hard to recover as much as possible in time for that fall's semester. The university opened as scheduled that fall, but the flood left an estimated $743-million impact that completely transformed the face of its campus.
When you think of successful university careers, you might think of presidents, provosts and deans; when you think of the wisdom to be found on campus, you’re likely to think of professors sharing the fruits of their decades of research on chemistry, classics, or quantum mechanics. You almost certainly won’t think of the folks cleaning the bathrooms, washing the floors, and changing the trash bags. Might you be missing something?
What does it mean to be an art school today? How should art education regroup and evolve in response to changes in the art world, higher education, information technology, the art market and the broader economy -- and what should it mean to be an art school tomorrow?
Service learning and civic engagement may be particularly hot motifs in higher ed these days, but the idea that students can learn a great deal through humanitarian works in their community is hardly new. To Buzz Alexander, who is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, such a notion might seem not only long-familiar, but even anemic, underdeveloped.