I'm doing some work at the big art school here in Minneapolis and there is no escaping the juggernaut of "narrative portraiture" here. Folks like Alec Soth and David Hilliard (who are both really great guys, btw) are held up as the example of how one should shoot.
Personally, I think that narrative portraiture boils down to "disaffected affluent white people sitting on a bed and staring off into their uncertain futures" but the art buying world just loves it -- for right now.
My prof is distinctly anti-digital as was the prof who taught intermediate. There is a big emphasis on digital at this school, but I think everyone there realizes that digital is great for composites and photojournalism and lousy for fine art.