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Artists with PhDs: On the New Doctoral Degree in Studio Art Paperback – 9 Mar 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: New Academia Publishing, LLC (9 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981865453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981865454
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,383,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's never a very promising sign when the editor of a book that deals with the kind of complex debates addressed here gives the impression that he's not really familiar with the field under discussion as something that is lived with and debated by real people, rather than simply addressed as part of a disembodied 'discourse'. (On p. 118 Naren Barfield is referred to as "she" which, unless he has recently undergone a sex change, may come as a bit of a surprise). This may seem a very trivial point, but I would suggest that it's indicative of a type of "high altitude" thinking that's so busy trying to demonstrate it's own all-inclusive authority that it can't be bothered to really attend to the finer grain of other people's concerns or arguments or to do the necessary homework required to "dig down" into what is actually at stake.

This is a book clearly written to cash in on a change in the American education market but is based on experience that has mostly been gained in European and Australian contexts. It may be of interest and value to those who wish to reflect on doctoral level arts education in the USA, but as a participant in these debates in the UK I can't really recommend this book wholeheartedly to potential PhD applicants or to those involved in supervision. The first section is somewhat confused in intent - who exactly is the audience for these very various - and in some cases very out of date - chapters. (One chapter was written for a conference in 2002 and promotes arguments that have long been discredited by more recent doctoral work). The second section, made up of extracts from the written element of eight PhD projects (without more than the briefest contextual information), is ultimately of dubious value other than as an indicative sample of writing styles.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent and thought provoking collection of essays on the place of the new practice-based PhD's for artists, particularly as this now looks set to develop within the USA. It reviews the various shapes this peculiar doctorate has taken within other Anglo-Saxon countries, such as Britain, New Zealand, and Australia, and considers its weaknesses and strengths, looking for what can be learnt and developed. I would recommend this to any art tutors and artists considering the potential of what a Doctorate in Fine Art could mean for them and to understand the cultural and historical territory into which they may find themselves.
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Format: Paperback
This is a must read for every artist whether he/she is considering an academical career or not, or to anyone interested in this matters.
Art should find it's own place in university not denying its own complexity, by being art and not forcing itself to become anything else.

António Olaio
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars How does 2009 version compare to 2015? 1 Jun. 2017
By inthrutheoutdoor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
About halfway through, I'm finding the book enlightening and helpful. I'm wondering how the 2009 version compares to the updated 2015 publication date. Thank you for any opinions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 18 Jan. 2015
By Michaelangela - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Essential for the understanding of the status and scope of the new PhD Arts degree.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Artist's perspective. 9 Mar. 2013
By Beverley carpenter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are now considerably more flexible and efficient ways to present a Phd for artists. This book is 'of it's time'.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A+++++++++++++++++ 20 April 2009
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a must read for every artist whether he/she is considering an academical career or not, or to anyone interested in this matters.
Art should find it's own place in university not denying its own complexity, by being art and not forcing itself to become anything else.

Antonio Olaio
a.olaio@sapo.pt
16 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rambling and Suspect 11 Oct. 2009
By Reader and Writer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Contrary to what this book tries to make us believe, PhD's in the visual arts are not being discussed on a wide basis. In fact many of the programs that have existed are, in my opinion, suspect, often not connected with any real degree granting institution and therefore basically worthless.

But Elkins does not let this phase him. His invited authors ramble all over, they republish older presented papers, they cherry pick to back up dubious claims. Most of the book centers on the attempts at starting PhD programs in the UK or in Europe. The US component is by George Smith, who believes current undergrad and graduate progams do not provide enough theory. I find this odd considering that it appears he has no MFA degree and that his own PhD institute does not appear to be run by any University. But we'll let that go. The main problem with the book was it read more like a ragtag collection of conference papers than any coherent attempt at discussing PhD's in the visual arts and what that might mean. Ultimately the book comes off as the cry of generalists or those with education degrees who have little understanding of how the art world really works or who view PhD programs as a continuation of a little cash cow. What is being discussed in art schools, at least in those I'm familiar with in North America, is the ridiculousness of any PhD in visual arts. A better book will have to be written before they warm up to the idea.
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