Reading Colloquy on Monday

On October 5 at 3:30 pm, the CAAS Research Seminar will meet for its monthly meeting in Melrose and its first Reading Colloquy, led by Amy Elias. We’ll read a sheaf of articles concerning “Accelerationism” and “Accelerationist aesthetics.”  Coffee provided! Inquiries can be directed to


Jered Sprecher Presents Work to CAAS


On September 14, Jered Sprecher will give a talk about his own work in Room 111, Art and Architecture Building.

Having earned an MFA in Painting at the School of Art & Art History at The University of Iowa, Sprecher was 2013 Artist-in-Residence at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship,  was Artist-in-Residence at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, Ireland, and served as Contributing Artist for the Artist Pension Trust in NY, NY.  Some of his most recent solo exhibitions include

  • The Hollow that Echoes, Gallery Protocol, Gainesville, FL (2015)
  • Half Moon Maker, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA  (2014)
  • Beats/Breaks, Staple Goods, New Orleans, LA
  • Stacking Stones, Gallery 16, San Francisco, CA
  • Jered Sprecher , Locker Plant at the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX (2013)
  • I Always Lie, Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NY (2013)

Sprecher notes at his website,  “My work is based in an eclectic aesthetic. My paintings extract elements from the high  and low of visual culture. This culture and crush of images is in constant flux. My paintings hold no single allegiance, but are constantly shifting from one form of representation to another. The paintings function as sources of both inductive and deductive image making processes. In our day-to-day life, one is seldom afforded the time to comprehend what one is viewing under the barrage of images produced by humankind. I try to grasp a single moment, a glance, a small epiphany. The paintings are haptic documents of everything and nothing.”

See his website at

Allen Dunn to Become Head of English

DunnAllen Dunn will take over as Head of the UT English Department at the end of July, 2015. Allen is a specialist in critical theory and twentieth-century Anglo-American Literature. He is the co-editor of The Limits of History (2012), Literary Aesthetics: An Anthology (2000); and “The Future of the Harlem Renaissance,” a special issue of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal (Summer 1998), as well as more than thirty articles and book chapters. He served as editor-in-chief of Soundings from 2001-2012. His other accomplishments include serving as President of The Society for Values in Higher Education and directing an NEH Summer Institute on Literature and Values with John McGowan at the University of North Carolina in 1997 and 2001.

Professor Dunn has served as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English from 2007-11. A dedicated and effective teacher at the undergraduate and graduate levels and holder of the English Department’s Carroll Distinguished Teaching Professorship in 2011-13, he has won the John C. Hodges Excellence in Teaching Award, the College of Liberal Arts Teaching Award, the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Teaching, the Cunningham Outstanding Teaching Award, and three GSE Outstanding Faculty teaching awards (including his second “Inside the Classroom” award this year). He has also won the Phi Beta Kappa Certificate of Merit for Research and Creative Achievement in the Liberal Arts and the University Studies Award for Outstanding Contributions to Interdisciplinary Scholarship. He intends to continue his leadership of the English Department’s Critical Theory Reading Group, which has been continuously meeting for more than a decade.

Essay Collection Published

book cover Amy J. Elias’s and Christian Moraru’s co-edited collection The Planetary Turn: Relationality and Geoaesthetics in the Twenty-First Century was published in April 2015 by Northwestern University Press. The book jacket, featuring a painting by Jered Sprecher (UT, Painting), describes the book as “A groundbreaking essay collection that pursues the rise of geo-culture as an essential framework for arts criticism” and continues that “The Planetary Turn shows how the planet—as a territory, a sociopolitical arena, a natural space of interaction for all earthly life, and an artistic theme—is increasingly the conceptual and political dimension in which twenty-first-century writers and artists picture themselves and their work. In an introduction that comprehensively defines the planetary model of art, culture, and cultural-aesthetic interpretation, the editors explain how the living planet is emerging as distinct from older concepts of globalization, cosmopolitanism, and environmentalism and is becoming a new ground for exciting work in contemporary literature, visual and media arts, and social humanities. Written by internationally recognized scholars, the twelve essays that follow illustrate the unfolding of a new vision of potential planetary community that retools earlier models based on the nation-state or political “blocs” and reimagines cultural, political, aesthetic, and ethical relationships for the post–Cold War era.”

Maria Stehle honored at Chancellor’s Honors Banquet

CAAS member Maria Stehle, an Associate Professor in German (Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures) and core faculty in Cinema Studies, was awarded the Jefferson Prize  at the University of Tennessee’s 2015 Chancellors Honors Banquet. The Jefferson Prize honors a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in research and creative activity.

Professor Stehle teaches courses in German Cinema and is a specialist in exploring contemporary media in Germany. She is the author of Ghetto Voices in Contemporary Germany: Textscapes, Filmscapes, and Soundscapes as well as numerous articles in conference proceedings, book chapters, and refereed articles, and she has edited a special issue of Imaginations, co-edited an issue of the Journal of Popular Music, and received several grants. Her interdisciplinary research collaborations include a three-year Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council project, “Technologies of Popfeminist Activism,” which examines the reconfiguration of German feminist activism in the 21st century through digital technologies.

Jered Sprecher featured on Guggenheim site for new show

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 6.29.14 PM


Jered Sprecher was recently featured on the John Simon Guggenheim website as a former Guggenheim Fellow for his show  THE HOLLOW THAT ECHOES, March 27 – May 29, 2015 at the Gallery Protocol in Gainsville, FL. The opening reception was March 27.

THE HOLLLOW THAT ECHOES employs a traditional format and materials, but Sprecher’s use of non-traditional colors, imagery and paint application combine to create paintings charged with the urgency and immediacy of our digital era. Painted in oil and acrylic on canvas, Sprecher’s images come pre-loaded with glitch, fragmentation, and artifact – anticipating their own degradation as soon-to-be jpegs. Like the drum or resonant cavity which the title suggests, Sprecher’s paintings are a taut membrane, echoing and vibrating between the great, historical tradition of image making and its rapidly unfolding future.

Fred Wilson to speak at KMA

Internationally acclaimed artist Fred Wilson will present the Eighth Annual Sarah Jane Hardrath Kramer Lecture at the Knoxville Museum of Art on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 6:00 pm.

As an installation artist and political activist, Fred Wilson explores the relationship between museums and individual works, questioning and deconstructing the traditional display of art and artifacts in museums. Wilson is a 1999 MacArthur Fellow and represented the United States at the 2003 Venice Biennale. His work can be found in the Seattle Art Museum, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Tate Modern, Toledo Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The annual Sarah Jane Hardrath Kramer Lecture honors the memory of a dedicated staff member of the Dulin Gallery of Art and the Knoxville Museum of Art and celebrates her passion for the visual arts and learning. Each year the series brings to Knoxville a prominent artist, art historian, art educator, or expert in a related field.

This is a free public event. Reservations are recommended by contacting by March 31. Seating can only be guaranteed to those who make reservations. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World’s Fair Park and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10am–5pm, and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission and parking are free.

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.