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: April 4th, 2016, 3:30-5:00 pm, Melrose seminar room.


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!

Katarina Burin to Present Lecture, Monday, February 15th

Through support from the College of Architecture and Design and the UTK Printmaking Program, Katarina Burin will come to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for a public lecture and collaborative print project.

Her lecture “Contribution and Collaboration: The Work of Petra Andrejova-Molnár and her Contemporaries” will be presented on Monday February 15th at 5:30pm in the Bruce McCarty Auditorium, room 109 in the Art and Architecture Building.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

Katarina Burin is a lecturer at Harvard University in The Department of Visual and Environmental Studies (VES). Born in Bratislava, Slovakia, Burin received her MFA in from Yale University (2002) and her BFA from the University of Georgia (1999). Her work investigates the representation and display of architectural histories, including the invention of an early-20th century architect named Petra Andrejova-Molnár. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious James and Audrey Foster Prize at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Her recent solo projects include exhibitions at Kunstverein Langenhagen, Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart) and P! (New York), along with gallery exhibitions at Ratio 3 (San Francisco), M29 Richter & Brückner (Cologne) and Lucile Corty (Paris).

Burin’s lecture presents a biographical narrative about the education and design work of Petra Andrejova-Molnár, a pioneering architect of the modern, post-war European style in the Hungarian and Czechoslovak Republics. The lecture positions Andrejova-Molnár in relation to mid-20th century female architects Charlotte Perriand and Eileen Grey, and assets that she is an important, but overlooked figure active in the first half of the twentieth century. Burin illustrates the lecture with architectural drawings, furniture, design objects, photographs, and texts. Despite it apparent authenticity, Andrejova-Molnár’s life and work was fabricated by Burin, and the project gives voice to female designers while also questioning notions of authorship and authenticity, the relationship between gender and the archive, and the historical tension between national identity and internationalist aspirations. Burin’s project highlights the ways in which historical movements and utopian ideologies are complicated and contradictory formations in a constant state of flux, while also creating a space of play around the mythos of “the architect.”

In conjunction with her visit, selections from her project “Hotel Nord-Sud” is presented Gallery 103 in the Art and Architecture Building from February 8-27. During her week-long visit, Burin will also work in the UTK Print Workshop on a limited edition print.

Web Resources on Katarina Burin:
• http://grahamfoundation.org/grantees/5135-petra-andrejova-molnar-room-for-a-modern-engineer-czechoslovakian-pavilion-paris-1925 
• http://www.andreasgrimmgallery.com/exhibitions/past/210
• http://www.ves.fas.harvard.edu/burin.html

Lokeilani Kaimana to Speak, February 1

The first CAAS meeting of the new semester will be February 1. We will welcome gifted junior scholar, Lokeilani Kaimana, who works at the University of Texas in Austin in the areas of queer cinema and media lineages, contemporary screen theory, queer-of-color critique, and the contingencies of race, embodiment, and screen images.

This particular meeting will follow a unique format to take full advantage of her visit. First will be a readings discussion open specifically to CAAS, from 3:00-3:30 in McClung 1210-11.  We will look at Kevin Everod Quashie’s “The Trouble with Publicness: Toward a Theory of Black Quiet” and Fred Moten’s “Resistance of the Object: Aunt Hester’s Scream” and “Resistance of the Object: Adrian Piper’s Theatricality” (check your email for access to these readings).

From 3:45-5:00, Kaimana will deliver a lecture titled “Conscious Quiet: Modalities of Pause in Black Visual Culture.” This lecture will also take place in McClung 1210-11, and will be open to a broader audience of faculty, grad students, or interested undergraduates.

Check out the attached poster for further details, and feel free to distribute to those who might be interested. See you there!

Reyhan Şahin Delivers Talk, Jan. 14

The German Studies Lecture Series will have its first talk of the year January 14, 1:00-2:30 in Hodges Library, Lindsay Young Auditorium. Reyhan Şahin will deliver a lecture titled “Strategies of Virtual Empowerment: Muslim University Students on Facebook.” A short description of the talk is below, and a poster for the event is attached.

In the past five years, an active scene of young Muslim activists has formed in and around German universities. These activists are part of anti-racist or people of color-networks, in which visibility, activity, and communication on social networks plays a big role. Members include university students, political activists, journalists, artists (like rappers), poetry slammers and comic-strip artists, who understand themselves as part of Ummah (arab. Islamic community as a unity).This talk gives examples of the linguistic and visual strategies these activists use to analyze the role of religion and religiosity and to show how Muslim women express their emancipatory orientations /attitudes and empower each other. Two contemporary examples from Germany illustrate these strategies: debates about the headscarf and the “battle” between two feminist movements, Femen und MuslimaPride.

Event Poster