Welcome to CAAS!

Welcome to CAAS: Contemporary Arts and Society, a research group at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, chaired by Jered Sprecher (Art), Daniel Magilow (Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures), and Amy J. Elias (English). CAAS was started in 2004, and is being relaunched in 2015, as an interdisciplinary research group studying the late 20th-century and 21st-century arts. The group is open to UT faculty and graduate students by invitation. If you are interested in participating in the seminar, please contact one of the organizers with your request.

NEXT MEETING: November 7th, 2016, 3:30pm,  E102 Melrose Hall.

Justin Hodgson discusses “Contours and Implications of the New Aesthetic” Wed. Oct 12th at 4:00pm

RWL Speaker Series is pleased to invite Justin Hodgson, Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric at Indiana University, to speak on Contours and Implications of the New Aesthetic 

When/ Where: Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 4:00 p.m. in the Arts and Architecture Building 111


The New Aesthetic, a term coined by James Bridle, refers to the blending of our virtual and physical worlds. In his talk, Professor Hodgson will focus on the New Aesthetic as not only a collection of postdigital artifacts, but also as an awareness aesthetic. He will show how the New Aesthetic calls attention to the postdigital tendencies in our relationships with our technologies, our acts of mediation, the systems and protocols for producing particular computational representation, and the human viewpoints that frame those considerations. Finally, he will trace the contours of a New Aesthetic and use them as a guide to the rhetorical practices of working creatives in a digitally-saturated culture.


Justin Hodgson is an assistant professor of digital rhetoric in the Department of English at Indiana University Bloomington. He is the founding editor of The Journal for Undergraduate Multimedia Projects (TheJUMP), co-coordinator of the Indiana Digital Rhetoric Symposium, and a graduate of the Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design doctoral program at Clemson University. His teaching, research, and service interests concentrate on the intersections of rhetoric, technology, art, and culture.

All are invited to attend!

The Public Cinema Announces Fall Program

Knoxville’s Public Cinema has released its film program for fall 2016:

Thirteen films (and counting) from eight countries, with a particular interest in movies that blur the line between documentary and narrative. It’s fitting, then, that Werner Herzog is in the program, as he’s played fast and loose with truth and fiction throughout his career. The rest of the lineup is full of discoveries, with a special repertory screening thrown in for election week.

Join us August 8 at Scruffy City Hall, as we kick off the fall season with Anna Rose Holmer’s debut feature, The Fits.

See the program trailer and full list at their website.

Amy Elias Presents Work in Progress, March 7

The March meeting of CAAS will take place Monday, March 7, at 3:30 in the Melrose Humanities Center Seminar Room. This month, Amy Elias will workshop a talk she is presenting in early April at the University of Pittsburgh, at a one-day symposium  titled “Coevality: Ethical Being in a Time of Total Change,” featuring talks by Amy and by Christian Moraru. The paper is titled “The Temporality of Dialogue” and the description is as follows:

What time does it take to interact meaningfully with another? In what time zone does relation take place? How do the arts address these questions? In this paper I discuss dialogue not only as an activity or aesthetic aim but as a temporal register in relation to coevalness. Responding to Johannes Fabian’s claims in Time and the Other, one of the touchstones of this Pittsburgh event, I examine different art works in which dialogue fails, is withheld, or is silenced as limit cases that contest the primacy of voice to dialogic interaction in a time of materialist theory; attempt to parse the different temporalities that conjoin in the coeval as revealed through these artworks; and, consequently, raise thorny questions about the difference between relationality and dialogue as political and ethical projects. The paper builds from a talk I gave at Rice University in fall of 2014 that examined the ethics of dialogics, particularly in art that depended upon silence.

Also on the agenda for this meeting is selecting a book to read for our next meeting. Books to be considered include:

  • Caroline Levine, Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network. Princeton University Press (January 2015)
  • Villem Flusser, Towards a Philosophy of Photography, Reaktion Books (October 2000)

Hope to see you there!