Teaching with Contemporary Art

Summer Reading Part 1

Allora and Calzadilla- production still (2007).

Allora and Calzadilla- production still (2007).

As we get closer to rounding out another academic year, it’s probably a good time to think about some of the books that might make it onto our summer reading lists. While many might take detective or romance novels onto the beach, I am happy and at the same time embarrassed that I can’t get away from non-fiction. I find myself reading a lot about things that connect to teaching and art in general. I’m helpless… I love my work.

If you haven’t already got some good books on the radar, here are a few to consider as you begin getting ready for those first few sniffs of summer air… wherever you are…

Arthur Danto’s Unnatural Wonders: Essays from the Gap Between Art and Life (2005).

Jessica Hoffman Davis’ Framing Education As Art: The Octopus Has a Good Day (2005).

Maxine Greene’s Releasing the Imagination (1995).

Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind (2005).

Judith Olch Richards’ edited collection, Inside the Studio: Two Decades of Talks with Artists in New York (2004).

Kirk Varnedoe’s Pictures of Nothing (2006)

Please feel free to share your recommendations for inspiring reading related to teaching and contemporary art. More to come as we get closer to the official start of summer.


  1. Nick Bygon says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions for books that talk about art as propaganda? Or something in the area of art as political change similar to the past flash point (“how can art effect political change”).

    I have read “Art and Propaganda” by Toby Clark and found that to be amazing, and would love to find out some more titles that might be similar. I also highly recommend the book if anyone is interested in the subject, it is a really easy read and can be finished in two or three days.

    Nick Bygon

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  3. Books I am reading (or plan to read) this summer include:

    Paulo Freire, Teachers as Cultural Workers – Letters to Those Who Dare Teach

    Hannah Higgins, The Grid Book

    John Dewey, Art as Experience

    Nicolas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics

    Frederick A. Horowitz, Josef Albers: To Open Eyes: The Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and Yale

    Obey: Supply & Demand: The Art of Shepard Fairey, exhibition catalogue

  4. Joe Fusaro says:

    Nick and Julie,
    Thank you for the comments on the column. I am writing part 2 this eve.

    Nick, books I might suggest, although they deal with propaganda along with a host of other issues are:
    Learning To Divide The World, by John Willinsky
    Arresting Images, by Steven Dubin

    Julie, the Paulo Freire book is excellent!

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